Reading have sealed a loan deal for Arsenal youth goalkeeper Karl Hein.

Karl Hein with Arsenal (Photo via Hein on Instagram)
Karl Hein with Arsenal (Photo via Hein on Instagram)

Alex Crook of talkSPORT reported a few days ago that Arsenal goalkeeper Karl Hein was a loan target for Reading FC in the January transfer window and the player has now joined on loan for the rest of the season.

Reading are currently a little low on senior goalkeepers, having terminated the contract of 31-year-old Rafael Cabral by mutual consent. But that doesn’t quite tell the whole story.

Rafael had already lost his place in the team before his contract was terminated, and Luke Southwood has been popular with the Reading supporters in the Brazilian’s place – despite the team’s dreadful form.

Reading have been naming u23 goalkeepers on their matchday benches, with 19-year-old Harvey Collins making the bench against Middlesbrough and 20-year-old James Holden joining the squad against Luton Town.

The worry is that Hein will only be taking that place on the bench. Displacing Southwood seems like a difficult task at the moment, and Hein was getting opportunities to join the matchday squad at games with Arsenal.

Karl Hein Estonia Young Player of the Year award (Photo via
Karl Hein Estonia Young Player of the Year award (Photo via

If Reading have given Hein any assurances he’d be given starts over the next few months, it will be a great opportunity for the Estonia international.

We’ve already seen how a loan to Reading can kick off an Arsenal goalkeeper’s career, with Emi Martinez’s recent rise really beginning with a temporary spell with the Championship side.

It’s just not entirely clear Hein would be utilised as much as Martinez was.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.