Karl Hein is set to step into the third-choice goalkeeper role for the Arsenal senior side next season, according to a report.
With Bernd Leno reportedly in talks to leave Arsenal, the status of the club’s goalkeeping hierarchy for next season needs clarifying.
Aaron Ramsdale is widely expected to be the number one, of course. New signing Matt Turner will act as backup, and Turner said in February that he’s hoping to challenge for a starting spot.
Last season, youth goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo was Arsenal’s third-choice option, but The Athletic report that they’ll try and send Okonkwo on loan this summer.
In his place, The Athletic claim Karl Hein will return from his loan at Reading to act as Mikel Arteta’s third choice.
Okonkwo is probably the goalkeeper more in need of a loan. He hasn’t had consistent minutes for a while, and he needs time to adapt to the pressures and challenges of senior football.
Hein already has that opportunity on a semi-regular basis with Estonia, for whom he often starts.
The 20-year-old has made two appearances over the current international break, keeping a clean sheet against San Marino and saving a penalty against Malta.
After his loan at Reading, which was going pretty well before it was cut short by an injury, Hein can be on hand for Arsenal during the Europa League group stage and the early cup matches this campaign.
Then he can head out on loan if January again if he’s not needed.
Okonkwo, on the other hand, should be available to go and get a full campaign of match action.