Thursday, July 18, 2024

Arsenal should promote Okonkwo with Macey set to leave on loan

With Matt Macey reportedly set to join Hibernian on loan until the end of the season, it appears that an opportunity could open up for another goalkeeper to become Arsenal’s third-choice in that position.

It is of course possible that Arsenal could look to bring in a shot-stopper from elsewhere, and there may well be suggestions that they should sign somebody as a second-choice given concerns over Alex Runarsson.

However, Arsenal have a very talented goalkeeper in their academy who is capable of stepping up to be third choice.

Arthur Okonkwo has long been seen as a potential future member of the first-team squad, and this may be the opportunity that he has been waiting for.

The 19-year-old trained with the first-team squad yesterday and has impressed on the few occasions that he has been called upon at youth level this season.

Karl Hein, who is already a senior Estonia international, has often been selected ahead of Okonkwo for Arsenal’s U23 side.

While Hein has excellent reflexes and possesses much in the way of potential, he does have a tendency to make costly errors at times.

Okonkwo, in contrast, is a much more reliable goalkeeper at this stage and is a calming presence between the sticks.

Last season was incredibly tough for Okonkwo as he missed the entire campaign due to a health problem and this season he was left out for several games following a disciplinary issue.

Now, though, he appears to be back on track and certainly seems to be Arsenal’s best option to step in if Macey does go on loan.

Jeorge Bird is the author of Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird


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Read about this kid for years ,will be nice to see him come up to the first team , until we go for Raya there is certainly a path to get som action in first team as second choice.


David Raya doesnt fill me with confidence. Inaki Cana is a fine coach but again if we are looking for recommendations from him, he can only throw out names those who he has worked with. So there are better keepers than Raya out there and hope we do a proper scouting this time…oh wait…


Raya is not Arsenal quality, I can’t believe that Cana would be allowed to bring another one of his favourites in, and for a lot of money, after Runarsson. Stick to coaching Inaki. The training video on the Arsenal site is featuring Runarsson, either they’re winding us up or we’re about to exit the FA Cup.


I’ve never seen Okonkwo play, but I’d still select him over Runarsson.

49 49 undefeated

“Extremely calm but had a disciplinary problem”
That is how my teachers described me at times..


And that’s why you didn’t become Arsenal’s third-choice keeper …

Artetas Assistant

Sometimes you have to bloody motherfuckers so they know not to fuck with you , I need to hear from both sides


Long-term injury, disciplinary issues…sounds like Arsenal material to me 🙂

The most important question: does he like smoking in the showers?


Know only what you report on him Jorge, but trust your reporting thoroughly.

Hope he is promoted and his development is handled wisely. The first team is in a precarious situation at the goalkeeper position. Runnarseon appears out of his depth and Macey’s heading out in loan.

We’re all a bit haunted by the consistent thought, “what if Leno gets hurt…?”

Despite the youngster’s possible promotion, I think we need to look for a good deal on a more reliable #2.

Public Elneny

Yeah same I don’t see too much reason to spend on a young up and coming keeper as they’d likely spend several years behind Leno and lose all momentum Matt Ryan at Brighton has been demoted to 3rd choice and is being allowed to leave. He’s nothing special but managed to hold his own in the PL for a couple seasons, which is decent for a 2nd choice. Should be cheap enough Dubravka also might have lost his Newcastle place after getting injured. He’s a very good keeper, good enough to push Leno, but might be harder to sign Someone… Read more »


Dubravka is an excellent shout – he’d probably be happy to have a pay rise since Newcastle are notoriously penny pinching, and he’d be real competition to Leno, plus would at least get to play in Europe, assuming we qualify again. A £10M bid?

Public Elneny

Yeah maybe something like that

Although I suspect Newcastle will want another 6 months to figure out if Darlow is actually the 2nd coming of Buffon, or just doing a passable impression for a bit

We do need someone now though, Runarsson just can’t be allowed. I don’t know much about Okonkwo or Hein, but the year out through illness and disciplinary issues, and Hein’s description as error prone don’t fill me with confidence they’d be ready for a run of 1st team games (not casting aspersions on their ability to make it long term)


I think Okonkwo had growing pains, I may be wrong, but if that’s the case then he needed the time out and BFG would understand because he suffered as a youngster.


Ryan is actually a good shout too. He is a bloody good shot stopper and good with the ball too. He has been quality for Australia over the years. An excellent number two. But until then I’d be happy for Hein and Akwonkwo to stand in, maybe even get a cup game. Runner should be behind both.

Timorous Me

Yeah, he’d kind of be perfect (I came on here ready to suggest him, too) except that he’s not homegrown. Maybe we could work out a loan for him, just as long as we don’t end up doing a loan for anyone else, what with the limit being two per PL club.


Hats to feel anyway about this without knowing about the disciplinary issue he was involved in


Can’t Macey move up and be second choice keeper?

26 years old, 6 foot 7 inches tall, surely he is maturer and better than Runarsson? And a 19 year old, however talented is probably too young to be in the first team?

Noon Gunner

Agreed, C.B. Can someone explain to me the Macey situation? Why he isn’t Leno’s automatic back-up?

Macey just isn’t a confident goalkeeper. Even less convincing than Runarrson sadly.

Search the web for clips of him in a full game or compilations. Also watch his performance in our “pre-season” games this season and you’ll notice the small mistakes he was making.


Casillas was 18 when he made his debut for Real Madrid. No pressure on Okonkwo then 😀


Macey is leaving.

The G

Can’t he be promoted to number 2?


It must take some special talent to be worse than Runarsson.


Why not Hein? He’s better all around. Making mistakes are fine at a young age. Hell Lloris is doing them on a regular basis in a mature age too. Hein will learn and grow from them and dry those mistakes out.


We need someone decent as back-up. Runarsson hasn’t impressed me so far – either on the pitch (error prone) or what he’s got to say off it (over-confident and, apparently, without the skill to back it up)


And a waste of a squad place.


Personally, I would promote Akwonkwo and Hein above Runner son of Runner. both have potential to develop into first team goalies. Nothing Runner has shown indicates he is anything more than a place holder. I was criticised at the time for questioning the Runner signing due to his links with Cana. Working with a goalkeeping coach isn’t merits for a signing. That would require proper scouting of the available options (ah, the scouting team conundrum again…). I had no problem with the price for runner and for him as a deep option, but the two talented kids we have should… Read more »


I agree about Runarsson. He’s been very underwhelming. Far too cocky off the pitch for my liking and (so far) little evidence to back that up when he’s between the sticks. All successful teams are based on a solid defence and until/unless we get that right (consistently) then we’ll stand no chance of doing much in the PL.

Heavenly Chapecoense

I have no problems with Arteta signing players he worked with at Man City. I have a couple of names.


Reckon our scouts (if we have any left) might actually know of their existence though…


If neither of our under 23 keepers are undisputed No1 at their age group?

Then it doesn’t fill me full of confidence.

Runarsson as our backup is beyond risky.

Leno gets injured, and I’d really fear for us.

It would be negligent not to enter the market


Hein is the #1 for Estonia…from all age groups!

Okonkwo has just been promoted to first team training with Arsenal. Both are REALLY highly rated, which is why if they are good enough they are old enough. Get them in.


Is it me or does that picture make him look like his hands are comically big? Or is he wearing comically big gloves? Really hoping it’s the former…


Pat Jennings, hands like shovels.


Is there any other footballer named Arthur?


Odd question, but… There’s one at Juventus right now.

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