Arsenal have confirmed that Arthur Okonkwo will spend the 2022/23 season on loan with Crewe Alexandra.
The 20-year-old goalkeeper was promoted to the Arsenal first team last summer prior to the arrival of Aaron Ramsdale and ended up being Mikel Arteta’s third-choice option between the sticks behind Bernd Leno.
Okonkwo is yet to make his competitive debut for Arsenal but he did make it onto the bench for seven Premier League matches last season.
While Bernd Leno is expected to leave the club imminently, the arrival of Matt Turner means Okonkwo’s status hasn’t really changed. Given his age, he needs to gain first team experience so a loan certainly makes sense.
We’re hazarding a guess that Karl Hein, who spent the second half of last season with Reading and is a full Estonia international, will fill Okonkwo’s gloves. That said, Alex Runarsson is still knocking around at London Colney and represents another option.
Crewe seem very clearly happy to have signed Arthur. Boss Alex Morris said: “We are delighted to sign Arthur. Arsenal have been exceptional in facilitating the deal, we have got a great relationship with them.
“He was our number one target right from the start of the summer. He has great stature, he’s a good shot-stopper and has a good record of saving penalties. I believe Arsenal have aspirations of him playing in their first team in the future but for now he is here to help us.”
Best of luck to Arthur in League Two.