On-loan Arsenal youngster wins man of the match award yesterday, he could be club’s ‘player of the season’
Arsenal may not have played on New Year’s Day, but a number of their young players featured further down the football pyramid.
It was another good day between the sticks for on-loan Arsenal goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo.
Okonkwo kept a clean sheet and was man of the match as Crewe Alexandra earned a 1-0 win over Tranmere Rovers.
The 21-year-old is currently enjoying his first spell away from Arsenal on loan.
Okonkwo has established himself as the League Two side’s first choice goalkeeper since arriving in the summer.
He’s kept eight clean sheets, and has helped Crewe avoid any sort of relegation battle up to this point.
Crewe’s goalkeeping coach Fred Barber has been very impressed with Okonkwo this season.
“The world is his oyster, he can be whatever he wants to be,” said Barber.
“He is a good learner, a good listener, and he’s come on a lot.
“He’s got great physical attributes and he is talented, and he is prepared to work very hard to get better.”
Okonkwo being named man of the match yesterday shows what a valuable asset he’s become at Crewe this season.
Okonkwo named man of the match yesterday
The 21-year-old has been consistently brilliant for The Alex this campaign, and has drawn praise from his Arsenal teammates too.
The match report from yesterday’s game also drew attention to the season Okonkwo has had.
They state that: “the on-loan Arsenal youngster made a terrific diving save to push Kieron Morris’ shot from almost 25 yards out around for a corner.
“It was another key save from potentially one of our players of the season.”
Okonkwo’s future at Arsenal is likely to be a talking point next summer.
Aaron Ramsdale has established himself as the club’s number one and is unlikely to lose that spot for some time.
Matt Turner’s performances for the USA at the World Cup suggest he’s a very capable deputy.
Third choice stopped Karl Hein has also impressed when given the chance to play for the first team.
The next logical step for Okonkwo would be another loan next season at a higher level.
Okonkwo’s man of the match award yesterday will once again remind Arsenal that they’ve got another brilliant young player on their books.
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