16-year-old Arthur Okonkwo has signed a scholarship deal with Arsenal, committing his future to the club after months of speculation.
Arsenal youth expert Jeorge Bird reports that the young goalkeeper has now signed the deal to remain in North London.
Previously, reports from various sources suggested Okonkwo was in a bit of a stand-off with the club. They offered him the scholarship months ago, but with RB Leipzig and Celtic circling he took some time to consider his options, and to decide whether he’d get sufficient game time at Arsenal.
That’s fair enough, considering Okonkwo didn’t get too many chances in the top academy teams last season. Overall he made three appearances for the u18s, including playing in the FA Youth Cup semi-final first leg.
Nonetheless, the goalkeeper managed to show his talent in brief spells on the pitch. He was particularly impressive in the Dallas Cup, an u19 competition. In the semi-final against Manchester United, he won the match with the final penalty save in the shootout.
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.
He’s already gained invaluable experience from training with the first-team last season, learning from one of the best in Petr Cech. Hopefully he’ll get more chances again now in the coming campaigns.