Arthur Okonkwo was promoted to the first-team squad yesterday, with the Hale End product set to be Arsenal’s third-choice goalkeeper for next season.
Okonkwo has long been regarded as a player with much potential. He first trained with the senior squad in 2017 and towards the end of last season regularly travelled with the team to games.
The 19-year-old commands his penalty area with authority and possesses superb reflexes while his distribution is also of a high standard.
In addition, Okonkwo has also gone through some difficult moments, such as when he missed the entirety of the 2019/20 season because of a health problem.
The goalkeeper bounced back last season to produce some encouraging performances for the U23s, often in difficult circumstances when the team was struggling.
Having worked very hard to get to this stage, Okonkwo will be fully aware that there is now an even tougher task ahead as he looks to eventually challenge to be first-choice goalkeeper.
That is still some way off at present and it is likely that Okonkwo will require a loan spell at some stage, but just getting into the squad is a good starting point.
Next season he will hope to at least get on the bench for some senior games, particularly in the Carabao Cup, and it isn’t out of the question that he could be called into action in the event of an injury crisis.
Okonkwo is certainly a prospect to keep an eye on and he could make his first unofficial appearance for the senior team during pre-season.