Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Arsenal have made an announcement on something which hasn't happened since 2003

Arsenal have announced that Arthur Okonkwo has signed a new contract at the Emirates.

On Friday, the Gunners confirmed that the 19-year-old goalkeeper had put pen to paper on a long-term deal.

Okonkwo has come through the ranks at Hale End after joining the Gunners setup aged seven.

Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

He penned his first professional contract in September 2018 along with Bukayo Saka.

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Okonkwo made eight appearances at age level last season and has regularly trained with Arsenal’s first team.

He even made three Europa League matchday squads, clearly showing Mikel Arteta rates him highly.

As well as signing a new deal, Okonkwo will be part of Arteta’s first team next season, and will wear number 33.

Okonkwo has also achieved something that hasn’t happened since 2003 – namely a Hale End goalkeeper becoming a first-team squad member.

Jeorge Bird, an expert on Arsenal’s youth setup, shared the statistic on Twitter.

Jeorge Bird also noted that Hale End is for Under-16s, while Emiliano Martinez, Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski joined when they were older.

Edu, speaking to the Arsenal media team, said: “The work of our academy and development of young players for the first team is a huge part of what we stand for as a club.

“They have produced some top players in recent years all of who have a special connection with the club and our fans.

“It’s great that we have our third goalkeeper who has progressed from our academy and we look forward to seeing more young players coming through.

“Arthur has worked hard to get this far and we’re confident he’ll have an exciting future.”

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