Striker-turned-goalkeeper Brian Okonkwo lifts the lid on how his move to Arsenal came about

Published: May 26, 2024
Striker-turned-goalkeeper Brian Okonkwo lifts the lid on how his move to Arsenal came about

Nigerian youngster Brian Okonkwo has revealed how his move to Premier League giants Arsenal came about. 

Brian comes from a goalkeeping family, with his elder brother Arthur Okonkwo also a goalkeeper and was named the best goalkeeper in the League Two for the 2023-2024 season after starring for loan club Wrexham. 

The younger Okonkwo initially started out his career as a striker before he was converted into a goalkeeper.

Brian Okonkwo joined Arsenal on schoolboy terms at the age of ten following a successful trial arranged by an Arsenal scout who worked at his Sunday team, Pro Touch. 

Speaking to the Arsenal Matchday programme for the visit of Everton, Okonkwo said: "The move to Arsenal happened when I was just ten years old. A scout named Francis, who was also working with Pro Touch at the time, played a key role.

"He truly believed in me and arranged my trial. It’s quite crazy when you think about it because I had only been a goalkeeper for about six months to a year, yet I was progressing rapidly in my development."

Okonkwo has experienced a taste of first team football through loan spells at non-league clubs Hitchin Town FC, Leatherhead, and Cheshunt.

The 18-year-old appeared in three matches in the U18 Premier League last season and made his competitive debut for the development squad in April. 

Okonkwo signed a two-year scholarship deal with Arsenal in the summer of 2022.

Igho Kingsley 

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