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Another 19yo’s contract causing problems for Arsenal

Arsenal are facing another youth contract issue with Arthur Okonkwo, who currently appears to be the club’s third-choice goalkeeper.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 15: Arthur Okonkwo of Arsenal in action during the Premier League 2 match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on April 15, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Arthur Okonkwo of Arsenal in action during the Premier League 2 match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on April 15, 2019. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

AllNigeriaSoccer report that Arthur Okonkwo’s Arsenal contract expires this summer. The club have offered him a new three-year deal, but he’s yet to sign it at this stage.

Okonkwo appears to be edging closer to a first-team debut after Matt Macey’s January exit. The 19-year-old was the third-choice goalkeeper for Saturday’s match against Newcastle United after training with the first team during the week.

To give some brief background on the situation, Okonkwo has always been a highly-rated goalkeeper at Arsenal. However, he missed the entirety of last season with a health condition.

The teenager finally made his return to the pitch in a win over Crawley Town in October, but he then missed a few games due to disciplinary reasons. He returned to start the final two u23 games of the year against Derby and Leicester City.

Arsenal have won all seven u23 games featuring Okonkwo, and he’s kept three clean sheets and conceded just four goals in those matches.

Karl Hein is also a talented young goalkeeper, so the two of them are competing for chances under Mikel Arteta. But they’ll both get a boost from Macey’s departure, opening up a pathway to take on Runar Alex Runarsson for the backup spot.

With Okonkwo’s contract situation, though, it looks like Arsenal could face his departure if he doesn’t get chances.

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