Will Stanley Nwabali compete for Super Eagles spot with Arsenal goalie?

There are rumours that Nigeria's Super Eagles received a major goalkeeper boost as an Arsenal goalkeeper has been cleared to represent Nigeria.

According to the reports, Arthur Okonkwo, who is currently on loan at Wrexham, was given the greenlight to play for the Super Eagles.

However, although he played for England's U-16s, U-17s and U-18s, Okonkwo hasn't been capped by the Three Lions, so he wouldn't need a nationality switch.

Okonkwo is eligible to represent Nigeria, and should he get the call, the 22-year-old would compete with Stanley Nwabali for the Super Eagles' number 1 shirt.

It's worth mentioning that Nwabali wasn't Nigeria's first-choice goalkeeper until recently, as the Chippa United shot-stopper beat Francis Uzoho for that spot last month, just before AFCON 2024.

Arthur Okonkwo to rival Stanley Nwabali for Super Eagles shirt
Photo by Icon Sport

What do we know about Arthur Okonkwo?

Arthur Okonkwo was born in London to Nigerian parents. He came through Arsenal's youth teams before signing a senior contract with the Gunners in July 2021.

Although the 22-year-old is yet to play for Arsenal in a competitive fixture, he has represented the senior team in a couple of friendly games.

Okonkwo got his Arsenal debut on July 13 2021, starting in a 2-1 friendly loss to Hibernian. He also started in a 2-2 draw with Rangers four days later.

Since then, the Super Eagles-eligible player has been loaned out to Crewe Alexandra, Sturm Graz and Wrexham.

Arthur Okonkwo to rival Stanley Nwabali for Super Eagles shirt
Photo by Icon Sport

Is Arthur Okonkwo a good fit for the Super Eagles?

To answer that question, let's take a look at Okonkwo's stats for Wrexham this season.

At the time of writing, the 22-year-old has 26 starts for the club, keeping 11 clean sheets. As a result, Wrexham are currently third on the League Two table.

Okonkwo had a loan spell with Crewe and Sturm Graz last season. He kept six clean sheets in his last nine appearances for Crewe Alexandra before moving to Sturm Graz.

All in all, Red Bull Salzburg were the only team to concede fewer goals than Sturm Graz last season.

Given that the Super Eagles don't have many great options besides Stanley Nwabali, Okonkwo should be a valuable addition to the team. After all, there's no such thing as ‘too many good goalkeepers'.

Avatar photo
Kelechi Udoka

Kelechi is an avid Enyimba fan who enjoys writing about the beautiful game. He has written thousands of articles for a few publications over the years.