One of the endearing memories of Arsenal’s 2015/16 campaign at youth level was the heroics of Hugo Keto in the FA Youth Cup fifth round victory over Coventry City, with the young Gunners prevailing after the Finnish goalkeeper made several saves in a dramatic penalty shoot out.
That was far from Keto’s only contribution in a hugely impressive campaign, with the prospect also delivering some encouraging performances in the UEFA Youth League.
This season, with Ryan Huddart having gone out on loan, Keto will hope to break into the U21 side on a regular basis at some point, and the 18-year-old will be eager to test himself against strong opponents.
A good commander of his penalty area who issues instructions to his team-mates with regularity, Keto copes well under pressure and possesses excellent reflexes. Although he made some errors in his first season at the club, Keto was rather more reliable during 2015/16 and he will hope that the new campaign will be even more fruitful as he aims to edge closer to achieving his aim of breaking into the first-team squad.
Deyan Iliev is currently ahead of Keto in the pecking order at the club, but, with the Macedonian still recovering from a serious injury, there is a possibility that Keto could start the campaign as Arsenal’s first-choice goalkeeper at U21 level, especially if Matt Macey is sent out on loan.
Keto should continue to receive much game time in the Youth League, although he is no longer eligible to feature as an overage player in the U18s.
The youngster demonstrated his vast potential this campaign, and is likely to receive his chance in the second-string at some point during the forthcoming season. With the way he has developed so far, it seems likely that Keto will seize this latest opportunity.