Thursday, February 29, 2024

Ejeheri can benefit from Hein’s loan departure

Arsenal goalkeeper Karl Hein joined Reading on loan yesterday, with the prospect heading out on temporary transfer for the first time.

Hein, who has been on the bench for the Arsenal first-team, already possesses a considerable amount of senior experience having been capped by Estonia on 12 occasions.

The 19-year-old will hope to feature prominently for Reading, but even if he doesn’t the loan move is still likely to be a useful experience as he experiences life in a different environment with the Royals looking to avoid relegation from the Champioship.

Arthur Okonkwo, who is part of the first-team squad, is also in need of a loan spell at some stage, but it seems unlikely that this will happen until next season.

One player who is likely to benefit from Hein’s temporary departure is Ovie Ejeheri, who has the opportunity to establish himself as the first-choice goalkeeper for Arsenal’s U23 side.

Okonkwo occasionally features at U23 level, but he is often required for first-team training, which has meant that Ejeheri has featured prominently for the second string the season.

The 18-year-old has developed a reputation as a penalty-saving specialist, while he has excellent reflexes.

At times Ejeheri can put his team under unnecessary pressure with his distribution, but he is making improvements in that regard and his overall development has been very encouraging.

Arsenal have other young goalkeepers at their disposal, such as Hubert Graczyk and James Hillson, but Ejeheri appears to be in pole position to take advantage of Hein’s temporary departure.

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



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Good luck, Ovie!

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