'I went to say my goodbyes' - Hale End product Okonkwo confirms departure from Arsenal

Published: May 15, 2024
'I went to say my goodbyes' - Hale End product Okonkwo confirms departure from Arsenal

Hale End Academy product Arthur Okonkwo has confirmed that he will be leaving Arsenal at the end of season, thereby ending a 14-year stay at the club.

The contract of the Super Eagles hopeful with the Gunners ends in the summer and  the news of his departure comes as no surprise.

He came through the ranks at Arsenal featuring for the U18s and the development side but was unable to record a single appearance for the first team.

The Anglo-Nigerian was only named as a substitute on 10 occasions, seven in the Premier League and three in the Europa League.

Due to his lack of opportunities, he spent loan terms with Crewe Alexandra and Sturm Graz last season before embarking on another with Wrexham last summer and has helped the Red Dragons gain promotion to the League One.

With Arsenal now one of the best teams in the Premier League yet again and the goalkeeping position not being an issue, it is hard to see Okonkwo breaking into the first team and that has influenced his decision to leave the club.

Speaking in an interview with The Athletic, the 22-year-old confirmed that he will be leaving the Emirates and has already made his decision known to the club.

"I went to say my goodbyes at Arsenal the other day. That was tough, knowing I won't be there any more. I'd been there so long. But it does feel like the right time. The club is doing so well," he said.

"You have to be one of the best to play for Arsenal. I have to follow my own career path and do what I need to do for myself.

"There are no hard feelings, we ended things very well. I had an incredible time — 14 years and I can still remember the first day I joined.

"I can never be more grateful to the club for what they have given me. And, you never know how football works, I could be back there one day."

Having impressed in his loan spell with Wrexham, Wrexham want to sign him on a permanent deal.

Abdulkareem Abdulhamid


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