Goalkeeper Karl Hein has signed a new long-term contract with Arsenal.
There has been some uncertainty regarding Hein’s future at the club, with his previous deal having been set to expire at the conclusion of the current campaign, but he will now be remaining with the Gunners.
It will be intriguing to see what lies in store for Hein as his long-running battle with fellow shot-stopper Arthur Okonkwo continues.
The pair have much respect for each other but ultimately, given that they are of a similar age, it is difficult to envisage both of them succeeding in the long-term at Arsenal.
Okonkwo signed a new deal in the summer and was promoted to the first-team squad but endured an error-strewn pre-season, while Hein, in contrast, largely asserted himself well.
Hein has also made excellent progress on the international stage for Estonia, especially impressing against Wales recently.
In previous seasons Hein has made many errors but there has always been a feeling that, given time, he could become a reliable goalkeeper.
So far this season Hein has played just one game at club level, for the U23s against Tottenham Hotspur. He is likely to be the first choice at that level but it is important for the club to also give playing time to two talented prospects in Ovie Ejeheri and Hubert Graczyk.
A loan move for Hein in January, even if it is abroad, could really help to take his game to the next level.
Okonkwo also has much potential and commands his area very well, so it will be interesting to see who ultimately succeeds in this tussle.
For now, it is a huge positive that Arsenal have tied Hein down to a new deal and the 19-year-old will hope that he can now edge even closer to being part of the senior squad.