ENGLISH FA Cup winners Arsenal have included Nigeria-eligible goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo in its first team ahead of its first Premier League game of the 2020/21 season at Fulham this weekend.
British-born Okonkwo,18, has played with the England U17 team before and Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr has been hoping to convince him to switch his allegiance and opt to play for Nigeria at the senior level. Okonkwo was a product of the Arsenal youth academy, who was handed his first professional contract when he turned 18.
Okonkwo was among four players of Nigerian descent that trained with the Gunners first team last Friday, alongside Tolaji Bola, James Olayinka and Daniel Oyegoke. He was involved in the intense outdoor training session, having been promoted from the Arsenal U21 team.
Last season, Okonkwo missed the whole of the 2019/20 campaign due to an undisclosed ailment but has now fully recovered. He is now expected to be in the matchday squad for the Premier League opener at Craven Cottage.
All the other Nigerian youngsters who trained with the first team in pre-season were not pictured in today’s training session. They have now returned to the U21 side and are expected to feature in the forthcoming game against Ipswich Town.