Arsenal have signed 16-year-old Karl Jakob Hein, with the Estonian FA confirming the transfer.
1Karl Jakob Hein
The Estonian Twitter account revealed the move was official, along with the above picture of Hein alongside his agent and former Arsenal goalkeeper Mart Poom.
The deal involves a one-year scholarship until Hein turns 17 next April. After that, he begins his three year professional contract with the club.
Plenty of other clubs were eyeing up a deal for the shot-stopper. Manchester United and Brighton both gave him trials, and Southampton also showed an interest. The media have also linked him to Bundesliga club FC Ingolstadt, as well as Italian clubs Torino and Juventus.
Poom insisted that he didn’t make the decision based on his own playing history, but rather because Arsenal offered the best opportunities for development.
“You may think that he joined Arsenal only for me, but this great decision was made by the boy with his family,” he said. “Each club had certain advantages and disadvantages. I did not put pressure on him to choose Arsenal, but I promised to support him, no matter what decision he was making.
“It was, of course, difficult to choose, because this is an extraordinary opportunity for an Estonian boy. Arsenal offered him very good conditions for development. The small advantage with Arsenal is that I know the people of Arsenal and this academy. I can keep an eye on him and advise him if necessary.”
Hein was previously playing for Nomme United, in the Estonian third tier. He’d already appeared for the first team even before he turned 16 last month. The previous summer, he also made his debut for the Estonia u17 national team, and has made seven further appearances since then.
Hopefully he can make a good first impression this year, and eventually climb the ranks to the first team. Good luck Karl!
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