Karl Hein gave a number of surprising factors in an explanation of why he chose Arsenal over Manchester United back in 2018.

Karl Hein (Photo via Instagram / Karl_Jakob_Hein)
Karl Hein (Photo via Instagram / Karl_Jakob_Hein)

Teenage goalkeeper Karl Hein had the chance to join either Arsenal or Manchester United a couple of summers ago. He went on trial with both clubs, and ended up in North London. The youngster broke into the u23s this season, making 11 starts in the PL2.

Speaking to the Estonian FA, Hein explained his decision to sign for the Gunners.

“I went to every club to show myself,” Hein said. “I was at United for three days, in other clubs a little longer.

“The first impression may have been deceptive, but it seemed to me that discipline and the organizational side, as well as other details, were at a higher level in Arsenal. In Manchester, for example, transport was late, which is why I was late for training.

“The reception at Arsenal was very friendly, and the club left a very good impression. Because let’s be honest, there was no difference in terms of level, because both Arsenal and United are among the top in the world.

“I also tried to imagine the journey to the national team in my head, and at Arsenal, it seemed somehow more logical. Looking at today, the Arsenal team is in the highest division of the U23 league and one of the strongest. United is a step below.

“It’s also easier to go home from London.”

It’s always interesting to hear the reasons why a player might pick one club over another. It gives you a sense of all the factors that go into a decision like this.

Hein freely admitted that it was a (positive) shock to get an offer from Manchester United, because of the size of the club. Yet, he ended up turning it down.

Easier access to his home country, an u23 team in a higher league and more reliable transport. These aren’t the things you think of when you imagine a young player choosing a club to join, but they’re all clearly important factors.