Arsenal could lose 16-year-old goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo to RB Leipzig or Celtic this summer, because the youngster hasn’t signed a scholarship with the club.
John Cross of the Mirror writes that the club have offered him that scholarship, with a view to a professional contract when he turns 17 in September, but they haven’t come to an agreement at this stage.
Okonkwo is highly rated at the club, and has trained with the first-team on multiple occasions. However, because of his age he hasn’t spent much time on the pitch in matches this campaign. Joao Virginia (18) has generally taken charge of the u18s this season.
The one time Okonkwo really got to make his mark was at the u19 Dallas Cup last month. The youngster shone in the semi-final against Manchester United, winning the match with the final penalty save in the shootout.
Here are the celebrations after Okonkwo’s match-winning save.
Saka was the other star for the u19s, scoring twice in normal time as well as Arsenal’s last penalty of the shootout. pic.twitter.com/DmqMjfLexi
— Dan Critchlow (@afcDW) March 31, 2018
The keeper also already has the physicality to make it as a goalkeeper. He stands at 6’5″, so there are no worries about him failing to grow, as can sometimes be the case with youth players.
Arsenal youth expert Jeorge Bird wrote on Twitter that he thinks the first-team training opportunities at such a young age are an attempt by the club to get the goalkeeper to stay. Hopefully they’re successful.