Arthur Okonkwo reveals he has already said his goodbyes at Arsenal ahead of his contract expiring this summer

Arsenal goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo has revealed that he is leaving the North London club when his contract expires at the end of the 2023-24 campaign.

The 22-year-old is nearing the end of his season-long loan at League Two club Wrexham and the Red Dragons want to sign him permanently following their return to League One after 19 years away.

Some Championship clubs are also monitoring the Arsenal academy graduate and Okonkwo is starting to prepare for life away from the Gunners after 14 years with them.

“I went to say my goodbyes at Arsenal the other day,” he told The Athletic.

“That was tough, knowing I won’t be there any more. I’d been there so long. But it does feel like the right time. The club is doing so well.

“You have to be one of the best to play for Arsenal. I have to follow my own career path and do what I need to do for myself. There are no hard feelings, we ended things very well. I had an incredible time — 14 years and I can still remember the first day I joined.

“I can never be more grateful to the club for what they have given me. And, you never know how football works, I could be back there one day.”

Okonkwo progressed through the academy ranks to join the first-team squad in 2021, and manager Mikel Arteta claimed he ‘believed in’ him ahead of the 2021-22 campaign, revealing he would be the third goalkeeper for the season.

He made his unofficial senior debut in a pre-season friendly against Hibernian that month before spending 2022-23 out on loan, first at Crewe Alexandra and then with Sturm Graz in the Austrian Bundesliga, winning the Austrian Cup with them.

Okonkwo proved himself all over again this term, making the League Two Team of the Season following some superb performances in the 35 league appearances he made.

While breaking into the Arsenal first-team proved too difficult for the former England youth international, he could soon be playing in the Premier League if he joins a Championship club capable of sealing promotion soon.

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