Arsenal youth goalkeeper Brian Okonkwo has finalised a one-match loan to Hitchin Town FC, putting him in line for his senior debut on Saturday.
On Friday night, Arsenal confirmed the one-match loan of 17-year-old goalkeeper Brian Okonkwo to Hitchin Town, with the teenager making the move for the game against Nuneaton Borough on Saturday afternoon.
Hitchin Town goalkeeper Charlie Horlock was sent off in their last game, leaving him suspended for the Nuneaton fixture.
Manager Mark Burke contacted various clubs looking for a replacement, before contacting Arsenal’s Ken Gillard, who himself used to play for Hitchin Town.
Gillard and Arsenal agreed to help out by releasing Okonkwo to Hitchin Town for a game.
Brian Okonkwo is the younger brother of Arsenal goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo, who is out on loan with Sturm Graz.
The younger Okonkwo brother has been playing with the Arsenal u18s this season, though he’s faced strong internal competition from the likes of Noah Cooper, Alexei Rojas Fedorushchenko, and Alex Kovacevic.
This isn’t the first time Arsenal have sent a youth goalkeeper out on a one-game loan.
The Gunners loaned Emi Martinez to Oxford United back in 2012 for their final game of the season, and the Aston Villa keeper went on to make a couple of other emergency loans before leaving Arsenal – though both lasted much longer than a game.
The chance to make a debut in senior football on Saturday is certainly a unique one, and we wish Brian the best of luck with the game.