Arsenal’s goalkeeping succession plan after Aaron Ramsdale appears to be in order with Karl Hein delivering another timely reminder of his talents.
In the years to come, many could see the 2021 summer transfer window as hugely important for the Gunners. While much of the attention was focused on the nearly £150m outlay, there was one other deal besides the six newcomers who might have gone slightly under the radar.
A few days after the window closed, Arsenal announced that Hein had signed a new contract. This will have relieved Mikel Arteta and Edu as the youngster’s long-term future was far from certain at the time, as football.london previously reported that it was blocking new conditions.
READ MORE:Gabriel Jesus issue, talks with Saka, two deals reached – State of play of Arsenal’s summer transfer window
“It means a lot to extend my contract with this great club, a great club in Europe, a massive club with traditions. I’m very happy, very happy,” he told Arsenal Media. My ambitions are to play for Arsenal eventually, train hard, keep improving and hopefully get my chance.
“Step by step, every day I feel more comfortable and it’s been a good pre-season and I’m looking forward to this season.”
Shortly after signing a new contract, Hein took part in the first team photocall alongside Bernd Leno, Aaron Ramsdale and Arthur Okonkwo. Although there has been no upcoming promotion announcement, it seems only a matter of time before he is considered a senior player at Arsenal.
In fact, while the 20-year-old is yet to make a breakthrough with Arsenal, he is already an established Estonian international and has caught the eye on several occasions over the past nine months. First, he made a few exceptional saves to deny Gareth Bale and Tyler Roberts before denying another effort by the former Tottenham winger to preserve his clean sheet against Wales in a qualifier for world Cup.
Then against Peterborough United in a short loan appearance with Reading last season, Hein made a superb save to deny Jonson Clarke-Harris from the ninth minute, which was one of seven he made on his way to keeping his first-ever clean sheet at senior level for a club team.
And more recently, he scored his 13th cap for Estonia by saving a penalty in a 2-1 UEFA Nations League win over Malta. Guessing correctly while diving to his right, what was even more impressive was Hein’s quick reaction to collect the ball to avoid the possibility of a rebound.
Now, looking ahead to next season, Hein is in a bit of a state of uncertainty. As the Gunners have already agreed a deal believed to be around £7million for Matt Turner who is likely to replace Bernd Leno as Ramsdale’s replacement, it may hint that the Estonian is operating as a third goalkeeper. choice.
However, given his move to Reading was cut short due to injury, another loan move for Hein next season wouldn’t be the worst idea as his development will be aided by regular playing time instead of sitting out. on the bench for an entire campaign, as he has shown. has the temperament for senior football even in his younger years.
Looking further ahead and if for some reason Ramsdale’s form wanes or Turner doesn’t prove to be the right backup goalkeeper option, Arsenal will need to find reinforcements. However, they might not have to dive into the transfer market again, as they can just promote from within.
Of course, there are still a few aspects to Hein’s game that need improvement as he was at fault for Malta’s goal on Thursday night. But the fact that Arteta and Edu have already tied him to a new contract is a sign that they have big plans for him and in return he can save clubs millions of pounds in the future.