On Loan Arsenal Goalkeeper Prioritise Making History With England, Shuns AFCON With Super Eagles

On Loan Arsenal Goalkeeper Prioritise Making History With England, Shuns AFCON With Super Eagles

The international future of on loan Arsenal goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo appears to be firmly in the grasp of England despite overtures from the head coach of the senior national team of Nigeria Jose Peseiro.

21 year old Okonkwo is one of six goalkeepers aged 21 or under to be playing regularly in the top 10 leagues in Europe following his January transfer move to Austrian side Sturm Graz. He canceled his loan at English Leagues two side Crewe in favor of the move.

Before his move to Austria, he caught the fancy of a lot of people with 10 clean sheets in 26 games for Crewe and now at his new base he has kept five clean sheets in 12 games in all competitions. Letting in just ten goals and in the process helped his team to the final of the Austrian Cup.

His fine run of form coincides with when Nigeria is on the look out for more options in goal particularly ahead of the next AFCON qualifiers games against Sierra Leone and Sao Tome and Principe respectively. First choice goalkeeper Francis Uzoho is suspended for one of the games.

Although the games would have come too sudden for Okonkwo, the idea is to have him be a part of the set up before the Africa Cup of Nations next year, but his recent statement points to the fact that he doesn’t fancy switching his international allegiance to Nigeria.

Capped by England at several youth levels, he told the Athletic that his focus is on becoming the next black goalkeeper of the senior national team of England, with David James the last and only black goalkeeper to have picked up the number one slot for England at senior level.

“I’m not sure why it is but the ones I really look up to now are Mike Maignan(AC Milan) and Andre Onana (Inter Milan),” he says. “I have actually gone to watch him (Onana) as he’s a top keeper. They’re good role models and, in the past, there haven’t been many. There are more coming up, but hopefully, I can help change that.”

Mohammed Mowiz

Full Story: https://www.owngoalnigeria.com/2023/04/26/on-loan-arsenal-goalkeeper-prioritise-making-history-with-england-shuns-afcon-with-super-eagles/
TAGS: #Loan #Arsenal #Goalkeeper #Prioritise #Making #History #England #Shuns #AFCON #Super #Eagles


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