Karl Hein made his fifth start for Estonia on Sunday, effectively confirming he’s taken over their starting goalkeeper spot at 18 years old.

118767097 821902338213681 2075482658830471425 n
Karl Hein playing for the Estonia National Team (Photo via Eesti Jalgpall on Instagram)

Arsenal academy goalkeeper Karl Hein made the starting lineup for the fifth time in three months with Estonia this weekend. He started against North Macedonia in their Nations League clash, and made seven saves – though they lost 2-1.

Over the last three international breaks, Hein has started every single competitive game for his country. The only two he missed were friendly matches against Lithuania and Italy.

As a teenager still waiting on his first senior Arsenal appearance, Hein is essentially Estonia’s first-choice goalkeeper. Bizarrely, he’s made as many senior international appearances this season as he has for the Arsenal u23s.

It’s not as if Arsenal don’t rate him highly as well. The only Premier League 2 match Hein has missed since September was through suspension, and he made the bench for the Europa League game against Dundalk recently.

Unfortunately, it’s not particularly easy to keep a clean sheet with Estonia at the moment. They shipped four to Italy without Hein in the team, and two to Macedonia with him in it. Macedonia had three times as many shots on target as their opponents.

Still, it’s all good experience for the goalkeeper, and the regular games will help him develop.