Arthur Okonkwo has extended his contract with Arsenal and received a promotion to the first-team squad as their number three goalkeeper.
Arsenal confirmed on Friday that Arthur Okonkwo has signed a new long-term contract with the club. After over 10 years with the club, the 19-year-old is preparing for a few more, clarifying on Instagram that it’s a three-year deal to 2024.
The contract announcement was paired with a number change, as Okonkwo takes over 33 for the coming season. That’s a first-team squad number, and Arsenal make it clear he is being promoted to the senior squad as the third-choice goalkeeper.
“It’s great that we have our third goalkeeper who has progressed from our academy and we look forward to seeing more young players coming through,” Edu said. “Arthur has worked hard to get this far and we’re confident he’ll have an exciting future.”
Okonkwo also made it clear that he expects to be the number three for the coming season, adding that he’s very pleased with his new contract.
“I am very excited to be back, very excited to have signed this new deal and I can’t wait to get training again,” Okonkwo added. “I am very thankful for the opportunity the manager has given me and the trust from the staff to be promoted up to the first team.
“I think short-term [my goal] would be getting used to being in the first-team environment, getting used to the players I’m with.
“Then long term I look to do as well as I can with this promotion up to the first team, being the No 3 goalkeeper, and pushing on to be the No 1 goalkeeper one day, and the only way I’ll be able to do that is by coming in and working hard every day and that is my biggest ambition for the season.”
As for Mikel Arteta, he’s spent a lot of time with the young goalkeeper already, and he says he’s expecting to see him even more now.
“Arthur was working and travelling a lot with the first team last season and we have all seen his quality at first hand,” Arteta told Arsenal.com.
“He is a strong young goalkeeper with great potential and we’re so pleased he has signed a new deal. He has absolutely earned his place in the first-team squad.
“Arthur will now join us every single day in training, where we look forward to watching him continue to develop and improve his goalkeeping. I know all our fans will join me in congratulating Arthur on this positive step in his career.”
Okonkwo has long been highly rated within the Arsenal academy, and he made a strong step up to u23 football back in 2019, keeping three clean sheets in his first four Premier League 2 games.
Unfortunately, he then had a health setback keeping him out for the entire 2019/20 season, but he was back on the pitch and around the first-team squad on a regular basis last season.
An u18 England international, Okonkwo will hope to push on again this campaign.