Wrexham sign Arsenal goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo as Wrexham give Man C a lesson in ethics



By Tony Attwood

We’re told that Arsenal have sold Arthur Okonkwo to Wrexham, after he has had a one season loan at the club for the last campaign.   He has taken a contract that covers the next three seasons.

His success is shown through his statistics


Years Team Games
2021–2024 Arsenal 0
2022–2023 → Crewe Alexandra (loan) 23
2023 → Sturm Graz (loan) 15
2023–2024 → Wrexham (loan) 35
International Games
2016–2017 England U16 2
2017–2018 England U17 3
2018–2019 England U18 5


Wrexham finished second in the league last season to achieve consecutive promotions for the first time in their existence.


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Stockport County 46 27 11 8 96 48 48 92
2 Wrexham 46 26 10 10 89 52 37 88
3 Mansfield Town 46 24 14 8 90 47 43 86
4 Milton Keynes Dons 46 23 9 14 83 68 15 78
5 Doncaster Rovers 46 21 8 17 73 68 5 71

Okonkwo has been released by Arsenal and so was available on a free transfer, although he had previously been to Wrexham on loan.

While the return of Wrexham to the league is clearly one that is based on the wealth of the owners, the fact that the owners decided to take over a failing non-league club and work with them, has done wonders for their image in the town, and for the support of the club.   

It has also raised a lot of interest in America, and shown other non-league clubs a model that can be followed   Of course it still means that the club is being bought by very rich people, but the willingness to take on a lower league club shows that this is not the mega-rich just buying a toy.

Arsenal meanwhile have rewarded a young player who has worked his way up through the club and that can only encourage more youngsters to opt for Arsenal.   They will know that they are not going to shoot into the first team as a teenager unless they are very very special, but they will get interesting loans, at at time when the shape of football is changing.

In fact, Wrexham is the exact reverse of Manchester City (now known as Man C 115 for infringement reasons) – Wrexhm  being a club that has been sponsored but in a way that breaks no rules and shows an understanding not just of the club itself, but of the whole nature of football in England.  It is an understanding that of course has been seen to be totally beyond the owners of Manchester City.

Yes of course it still depends on people with money supporting the club, but the willingness to do this with a failing non-league club speaks volumes, as does the support of the local population (and a fair number of American citizens).

Arsenal’s willingness to arrange matters so the player could go on a free and develop his career also speaks volumes for Arsenal and will continue to encourage young players to choose Arsenal as a gateway to a professional career..


7 Replies to “Wrexham sign Arsenal goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo as Wrexham give Man C a lesson in ethics”

  1. These are kind, considered thoughts that accurately capture all the implications of this deal. As a new Wrexham fan from Seattle, I’m impressed with Arsenal’s attitude and grateful for their compassionate reward to Arthur, which enabled him to gain the maximum benefit from the move. And you’re right about City, a Frankenstein club bolted together with obscene abuses of UK soccer’s corporate and political system. By contrast, Rob & Ryan implemented a model that earns sustainable income for any small club willing to try something similar.

  2. In other news, the PSR transfer merry-go-round has seen some strange trades involving Villa, Chelsea and Newcastle.

    Unknown (or almost unknown) players are moving between these clubs for seemingly inflated fees. The fees for the sales represent an instant profit for the selling club, whilst the fees for the purchases are being amortised over the duration of the new contracts, enabling clubs to offset the sales and purchase prices in a way that enables them to reduce their PSR deficits.

    A little bit like selling hotels, really.

    These clubs will have to rely on the goodwill of the Premier League in their interpretation of the phrase “spirit of the law”, given the inflated prices being paid.

  3. @seismic,

    Any names ?

    These 3 clubs were, if I am not wrong, all against any new rules curtailing financial doping….
    Maybe they could form a 4 club breakaway league with City 115.

    Not too surprised that they are using all possible shenanigans to use any un-defined principle.

  4. Thanks David; I hope you return to Untold occasionally- it won’t be about WWrexham probably but we do try to live up to the name “Untold”

  5. @seismic,

    that kind of valuation puts Arsenal’s squad way past 1 billion in value… !
    Not surprised to see both clubs doing the deal.
    From the piece however I don’t see what Aston Villa will be giving Chelsea for such a good deal.
    Or did I miss something and they are returning a favour they already received ?

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