Thursday, July 7, 2022

Hillson signs new contract but next season is pivotal

It has been a frustrating season at times for James Hillson, with the young goalkeeper having been restricted to just two league appearances for the U23s.

However, Hillson has impressed the club’s coaching staff in training and recently signed a contract extension, with his previous deal having been set to expire at the end of next month.

The shot-stopper initially joined Arsenal on loan from Reading in February 2019 before making the move permanently last summer and possesses impressive reflexes, although he isn’t exactly the tallest.

Next season will be hugely important for Hillson’s development and it is possible that he could be sent out on loan at some stage to gain his first experience of senior football.

The 19-year-old currently finds himself behind Karl Hein in the goalkeeping hierarchy for the U23s, while Arthur Okonkwo and Tom Smith, neither of whom played this season, will also be in contention to feature at that level next campaign.

With uncertainty over the futures of Matt Macey and Deyan Iliev, it is possible that the spot of Arsenal’s third-choice goalkeeper for the first-team could soon open up.

Hein, despite being rather error prone, is extremely highly rated by the club, and would appear to be in pole position at present, but Hillson also has an opportunity to stake his claim.

Jeorge Bird is the author of Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird


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