Arsenal goalkeeper, Arthur Okonkwo, is reportedly considering a change in his international allegiance from England to Nigeria. Despite showcasing promise at the U18 level for England, Okonkwo is eyeing the Super Eagles due to a lack of opportunities with the English national team.
At 22 years old, Okonkwo had aspired to represent the Three Lions of England but hasn’t seen that ambition materialise. With Nigeria facing challenges in their goalkeeper department following Vincent Enyeama’s retirement in 2015, Okonkwo sees an opening and is ready to explore the chance to play for Nigeria, especially with the Nigerian Portuguese head coach, Jose Peseiro showing interest in the potential switch.
The Super Eagles have struggled with goalkeeper stability since Enyeama’s departure, and the current options—Francis Uzoho, Stanley Nwabili, and Ojo Olorunleke—have not gained the full trust of Nigerian fans. Okonkwo’s potential inclusion could have offered a solution, but the discussions to finalise the arrangement are ongoing.
Currently on loan at Wrexham, competing in League Two, Okonkwo’s performances have been notable. Impressions from his previous loan spells at Crewe Alexandra and Sturm Graz have contributed to his development, prompting interest from Nigeria’s national team setup.
Despite a strong performance trajectory in senior football, Okonkwo’s international chances with England have dwindled. His last involvement with the England U18s was over four years ago, signaling a potential shift in his international allegiance.
Reports indicate that Super Eagles head coach Jose Peseiro reached out to Arthur Okonkwo in October 2023, and was hoping to have him for the AFCON, but has now settled for South African-based goalkeeper, Nwabili.
The young goalkeeper has expressed his willingness to consider representing Nigeria, and discussions between the parties are ongoing.
His remarkable performances have not gone unnoticed, earning him recognition as the most valuable player in the EFL League Two, according to Transfermarkt. His loan spells and consistent displays, tallying 52 appearances and 20 clean sheets, have significantly elevated his profile.