Arthur Okonkwo has signed a new long-term contract with the club and has joined the first-team squad.
The 19-year-old goalkeeper, who has been with us since our under-9 level, signed as a scholar in July 2018. He impressed last season, regularly training with the first team and also travelling with the matchday squad as the third goalkeeper on numerous occasions during the campaign. He also made eight appearances at youth level in the Premier League 2 and EFL Trophy.
In 2018/19, Arthur made his Premier League 2 debut at just 17 years of age, before going on to win the under-18 Premier League South. During that season, he played between the two age groups, making 14 appearances across all competitions, keeping seven clean sheets in the process.
Technical director Edu said: “The work of our academy and development of young players for the first team is a huge part of what we stand for as a club. They have produced some top players in recent years all of who have a special connection with the club and our fans.
"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. Arthur has worked hard to get this far and we’re confident he’ll have an exciting future.”
Manager Mikel Arteta added: “We welcome Arthur to the first-team squad. We are so happy another academy player has come through our system at the club. Together with Arthur’s huge talent and hard work, we thank our colleagues at the academy for developing Arthur in recent years to get to this stage, they are doing great work with the players’ development here and should be really proud.
“Arthur was working and travelling a lot with the first team last season and we have all seen his quality at first hand. 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.”
Everyone at the club would like to congratulate Arthur on his new contract and we look forward to his continued development.
Arthur will wear the number 33 for next season.
The new contract is subject to the completion of regulatory processes.
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