Goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo has committed his future to Arsenal by signing a new contract at the Emirates Stadium, the club confirmed on Friday.
The highly-rated shot-stopper, as first reported by football.london earlier this month, has put pen to paper on a new long-term deal in north London.
His reward for signing a new contract is that he will now remain part of the first-team squad moving forward, meaning that he will be looking towards earning his senior debut for the club in the not too distant future.
On putting pen to paper on a long-term deal at the Emirates Stadium, the 19-year-old starlet told Arsenal’s club website: “It’s just surreal. To be from the academy to be able to come up to Colney, train, play in the under-18s, train, play in the under-23s and then move up and train with the first team, and then hopefully, one day, make my first-team debut… it’s a great feeling to be here.
“I am very excited to be back, very excited to have signed this new deal and I can’t wait to get training again. I am very thankful for the opportunity the manager has given me and the trust from the staff to be promoted up to the first team.
“Just the other week I couldn’t even imagine being promoted to the first team so this is a big push for me, a new challenge for me. So I am very excited to start.”
The news of Okonkwo putting pen to paper on a new deal at the Emirates Stadium is poised to be the start of a domino effect for new contracts being signed ahead of the start of the new Premier League season, which kicks off in just five weeks time.
That is because fellow academy graduates Emile Smith Rowe and Kido Taylor-Hart are poised to follow suit.
Arsenal, despite serious interest from Aston Villa, are confident that Smith Rowe will soon put pen to paper on a new long-term contract at the Emirates Stadium, with it poised to be a five-year agreement.
Should that get done without any late snags or hitches, it would represent a huge achievement for the Gunners to have tied down one of their most valued young prospects.
As well as Smith Rowe being poised to extend his stay in north London, fellow youngster Taylor-Hart is set to follow suit. As reported by football.london, the 18-year-old is set to pen a new long-term contract, with the winger considered as one of the most highly-rated talents currently at the club outside of the first-team squad.
Should both of those contracts be signed, as expected, that will represent some solid work done by the club to secure the futures of three talented young stars.
However, it is not just new contracts that are set to be signed, as new signings themselves are soon set to arrive.
Manager Mikel Arteta is desperate to bolster his first-team armoury this summer and the additions of Benfica left-back Nuno Tavares and Anderlecht’s Albert Sambi Lokonga are soon set to be completed.
Tavares is believed to have undergone a medical at London Colney on Friday ahead of finalising his move from the Portuguese giants, whilst the Gunners, according to The Athletic, are close to agreeing a deal for Sambi Lokonga.
The summer window is officially open, and it’s going to be tough to keep up with the comings and goings in and out of the Emirates.
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With that in mind, the Gunners could soon wrap up deals for both and announce their arrivals together, making it a double announcement.
But should Smith Rowe and Taylor-Hart’s contracts get signed soon, the Gunners could well be announcing four cases of great news in the not too distant future.
But as it is well known, the Gunners’ recruitment drive will not stop at Tavares and Sambi Lokonga, as several other new additions are to be expected.