Hillson signs new deal as Gunners weigh up keeper options

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Arsenal have confirmed that 20-year-old keeper James Hillson has signed a new contract with the club.

Hillson joined the Gunners at the end of the 2018/19 season and signed a first professional contract a few months later.

Due to his homegrown status, he was registered on the club’s A-list for the Europa League but according to our resident Academy expert Jeorge Bird, he’s considered to be behind Karl Hein and Arthur Okwonko in the club’s pecking order.

Hillson’s extension comes at a time when the Gunners are said to be on the hunt for further backup to Bernd Leno following the departure of Matt Macey. 

Mikel Arteta sanctioned the summer recruitment of Alex Runarsson from Dijon in the aftermath of Emi Martinez’s move to Aston Villa but it now sounds as though the deal was a short-term stop-gap.

Arsenal are believed to be willing to let Runarsson leave on loan in January if they can find a suitable candidate with Barcelona’s Neto and Newcastle United’s Freddie Woodman touted as possible targets.

Neto, 31, has reportedly told Ronald Koeman he wants to leave the Nou Camp this month while Woodman, 23, is earning plaudits for his performances on loan at Swansea in the Championships. Woodman’s dad, Andy, is head of goalkeeping at the Arsenal Academy.

Arsenal also confirmed that 18-year-old centre-back Alex Kirk has signed a new contract. Congratulations to him and James.

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C.B.

Son and dad together, could be interesting…

Viv The 🐐

We should get in Lilian Thuram in the setup, so we sign Marcus Thuram and all of his sons at The Arsenal!

I would love to see an Homegrown keeper to become the number 1 after Leno. but without a drop off in quality. I think we let our young keepers sit on the bench too much without them getting a chance of regular professional football.

ChickPEA

Our goalkeeper strategy doesn’t seem that clear to me right now. This young Woodman looks like a nice option, but we are supposed to already have at least 2 very good youngsters in our ranks, and he’s out on loan for the rest of the season anyway…

I would still say that a good young English player is never to be sniffed at, but we have to find loans for Hein and Okonkwo to allow them to develop, and it doesn’t solve our short-term issues anyway.

Man Manny

Still waiting for Academy graduate Keeper and defenders in the first team.
Or are we more adept at developing midfielders and attackers?

maxcat

Midfielder were the Wenger speciality but seems to be few promising keepers and defenders about. Might just happen, fingers crossed.

Martin

There’s a very good keeper at Villa if we could prise him away

David Hillier's luggage

Szczesny, Martinez and Mannone all graduated from our academy. We have the ability to produce first team keepers.

Coolio

What about Dejan Illev?

He’s 25 and out on loan to Shrewsbury Town. Looked better than Runnarson to me 🤷🏾‍♂️

Cygans Parting

Iliev can hardly get a game for Shrewsbury and will probably back with the club very shortly. He’s also had a couple of loans last year where he also struggled to get regular game time….
I’d be inclined to give Arthur Okonkwo or Karl Hein the back up keeper job until the summer. I like Okonkwo as a keeper from what I’ve seen of him. He’s very tall, agile and best of all, he is calm.

Dave Cee

Swansea are playing at Wimbledon?

Andy H

Brighton need to off load Mat Ryan take him on loan till the end of season, got the experience to see us through and the go with Hein or Okonkwo for next season.