Highly Rated Arsenal Youngster Join First Team Ahead of Sheffield Clash

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Youth goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo is back at the Arsenal training ground, following the recent injury to senior keeper Bernd Leno.

Highly-rated 18-year-old goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo hasn’t played for Arsenal since the final u23 game of last season, a 3-0 win over Leicester City. It was his third clean sheet in four games at that level, only conceding once in a 3-1 win over Chelsea.

He’d had a similarly good year with the u18s before his promotion, keeping four clean sheets in eight league games. Between the two Arsenal youth teams, they only lost one league game all season with Okonkwo in the team.

Unfortunately, he then had to sit out most of this season for personal reasons, which we won’t get into. So it was great to see him back at the training ground on Tuesday, posting on his Instagram as he pulled up to testing booths.

It’s the right time to make a comeback. Bernd Leno could well miss a lot of football over the next few weeks, leaving the third-choice goalkeeper spot open as it stands. Emi Martinez is currently first-choice, with Matt Macey as a backup.

Of course, after so long out, it will take time for Okonkwo to get back to where he was. There shouldn’t be any pressure on him to fill gaps in the first-team squad. It’s just an opportunity for the youngster.

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