Arsenal have confirmed that young goalkeeper Karl Hein has signed a new contract.
The 19-year-old featured for the first team in pre-season and made the bench for the Premier League opener against Brentford when Alex Runarsson was ruled out with Covid.
Hein, whose contract was due to run out in the summer, has been a full international for Estonia for a while now and recently made headlines with a stellar performance against Gareth Bale’s Wales in Cardiff.
While a decision to extend his contract won’t have been made on that alone, it won’t have hurt his profile at the club.
Earlier this summer, fellow teenager Arthur Okonkwo got the nod over Hein for promotion to the first team; it’ll be interesting to see how that battle plays out and whether the club re-assess their decision.
“It means a lot to extend my contract with this big club, a big club in Europe, a massive club with traditions. I’m very happy, very happy,” he told Arsenal.com.
“It’s been a long process [at Arsenal]. First year I had quite a long-term injury with my wrist, it was a tough time but I think I went through it well. Next season was good, did well with the 23s and then step by step I got involved in the national team, got involved more with the first team and slowly but surely it’s been good progress.
“My ambitions are to play for Arsenal ultimately, train hard, keep the progress going and then hopefully get my chance.
“Step by step, every day I feel more comfortable and it’s been a good pre-season and I’m looking forward to this season.”
Hein is actually a product of the football academy set up in Estonia by ex-Gunner Mart Poom. The legendary Estonian keeper, who spent two years at the Emirates from 2005-07, even recommended he make the switch to Arsenal despite interest from other clubs.