Karl Hein excels against Wales but what does his Arsenal future hold?

Karl Hein made his tenth senior appearance for Estonia last night and it was a memorable one for the talented young goalkeeper as he produced an excellent display against Wales.

Hein managed to keep a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw in Cardiff and made some fantastic stops, including one to deny Gareth Bale.

The 19-year-old finds himself in a somewhat unusual situation where he is the first-choice goalkeeper for his country yet the fourth-choice shot-stopper for his club.

Arthur Okonkwo was promoted to the first-team squad as third-choice this summer, although it was Hein who produced the better performances for the senior team in pre-season.

Hein managed to get on the bench against Brentford in the opening Premier League game of the season, but since then Okonkwo has managed to reclaim his position as third-choice, although he hasn’t played at any level so far this season.

Meanwhile, Hein has played just once for the U23s. With the transfer window closed, he will remain at the club until January but given that his contract expires next summer there is a risk that Hein could end up leaving.

Given that Okonkwo and Hein are of a similar age, it seemed rather inevitable that one of them would leave at some stage.

Okonkwo is an excellent prospect despite his pre-season showings, but it would be a shame to lose Hein given the quality and potential that he possesses.

This situation will reach its conclusion soon enough but if a goalkeeper is good enough to thrive against Wales he should be playing senior football of some description.

Hein bounced back from conceding five against Belgium and has learned a lot during this international break facing some high-quality players.

Now there will be more focus on his club career. Given that he is fourth-choice it may prove difficult for Arsenal to convince Hein to stay but they will hope that the situation can be resolved somehow.


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