Arsenal need to persuade Karl Hein to stay as backup to David Raya instead of investing

Arsenal had two elite goalkeepers last season: Aaron Ramsdale and David Raya (who arrived on loan from Brentford). Arteta had hinted that Raya had arrived to compete with Ramsdale for a starting berth. Unfortunately, Raya eclipsed Ramsdale for a starting spot; since his Arsenal debut, Raya has only missed 2 league games in which he was ineligible to participate (vs. Brentford).

He played every other game, leaving Ramsdale, a capable goalkeeper, to warm the bench. Not playing causes agony and dissatisfaction for a quality goalie; we saw that with Bernd Leno before he left, and we saw it with Aaron Ramsdale. Ramsdale, a strong goalie, is leaving this summer because we were unable to meet his game time requirements.

If he leaves, some of us Gooners can’t help but wonder if we should go all out and sign another top goalie, hoping he’ll come and compete with Raya (whose permanent move to Arsenal is set to be announced soon), or if it’s time to consider having an up-and-coming goalie join and end up deputising Raya.

I believe it makes perfect sense to bring in a young goalie to serve as Raya’s backup. In fact, I’d recommend Academy goalie Karl Hein. Hein is still aiming to grow into a top goalie, and the opportunity to deputise Raya next season could give him the boost he needs (that’s if Arteta can persuade him to stay and he doesn’t leave as a free agent).

Arsenal are reportedly interested in signing Real Madrid goalkeeper Andriy Lunin. Yes, the Ukrainian keeper is a fantastic (possibly top) goalkeeper, as evidenced by his performances for Real Madrid last season, but is he the perfect fit for Arsenal?

The uncertainty of a starting role, his transfer fee, and his salary all cast doubt on his swoop’s suitability. And we don’t need a negative attitude in our goalkeeping department after a season in which our goalkeeping was as honed (because of Raya’s arrival) as we’ve ever seen in modern history. Having two No. 1’s again? That is not sustainable.

Daniel O


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  1. Wow! If Raya got injured in September, you would think it Ok, to put a rookie goalie in as his cover. Not going to happen. We are bigger than that.

    1. You are quite correct Reggie. There would be way too much pressure on Karl Hein. Especially playing out from defence. Getting a second choice goalkeeper to David Raya isn’t going to be as easy as some people seem to think. You are unlikely to get an international level goalkeeper to play second fiddle because they are putting their own international career on the line due to lack of game time. That’s why Matt Ryan did not hang around, though he was on loan at the time. Matt Turner left because he was USA ‘s number one, and needed to play regular football. As it is, he’s been a disappointment playing for Nottingham Forest. Karl Hein is certainly not the answer. At the end of the day , it’s Arteta’s and Edu’s problem. Bloody hell they’ve gone through some goalkeepers in five years. Rather embarrassing when you look at it

  2. The answer is proper rotation of Raya and Ramsdale, but that’s not going to happen either.

    1. This is a challenging situation for which there are no easy answers. The defensive unit with Raya in the time is one of the best we have had in a long time.
      Over time, playing with the same players allows a level of trust and understanding to develop which makes it easier to defend effectively as a team.
      Rotating players out of such a setup comes with certain risks and is by no means straightforward.

      1. David, don’t you agree that, if MA had actually done what he said he wanted to do – sub the keeper during games – both Raya and Ramsdale would have been able to work into the system?
        Games such as WHU, SU, Chelsea Brighton where the results were already decided.
        Then there would have been no risks whatsoever.

  3. It’s not fair to keep two top level goalkeepers in a team. Both in football sense and performance wise. So, I agree to keep a new and budding home grown talent as a deputy to the main one. The history of goalkeepers being seriously injured is few and far between. Better to invest the money to bring in a backup to Saka, which I feel is most essential. Again, that back up should be prepared to play second fiddle unless Saka’s performance fall drastically.

  4. I think we need to get someone with some experience to be back up. We can’t rely on a 22 year old who has had very little experience playing for us.
    Raya can’t play all matches, so we need a decent backup, even if its just a loan for the season but Karl Hein isn’t the answer. Imo

  5. Steph, how is the 22yr old going to get the exposure and experience if we can’t provide him with the platform? I think Hein should replace Ramsdale. There’s nothing wrong with being a young lad afterall the team is full of them, they are only shining bc they got the chance, let the young lad have is

    1. Agreed…let.him.also play in the cup matches and CL once we are through our group

      Arthur Okonwyo (?) was he better or is Karl.Hein. I have not seen either

      Other option is whilst it’s not fair on Ramsdale he is our player and under contract so.keep.him and let some.CL.and league. And then let him leave in Jan maybe

      1. Situations like these is why I loved Wenger. He promoted and had faith in Arsenal’s young lads. We produced world class young talents during Wenger’s years. He had balls to play them boys; he would had played babies if he had them. Gosh I miss Wenger!

        1. This reminds me of Sechezny debut at Old Trafford I thought to myself “my Rooney is going to have a goal fest today” but the young keeper put in a MOTM performance and conceded only 1 goal from defender’s fault.

    2. Gil, you can’t seriously be saying that we rely on a rookie as back up. If Raya was out, you honestly expect him to manage the League and CL and probably any other cup comp? No, it wont happen, we have to be better than that.

      1. But what decent keeper is going to come to us knowing he’s going to be a back up to Raya, surely we have to give these 2nd string players exposure at some time. After all Hein is not exactly a complete rookie, he has played international football for Estonia.

      2. Also, Martinez was a rookie with us at one time and look how he’s turned out after Villa gave him a chance.

        1. No top club, does what is being suggested in this article. Martinez was 3rd choice keeper for years before he became second choice, then got his chance. No comparison. And Martinez was let go.

  6. He is 22. Young player is 16 to 18 years old. I have never understood 20 years old and above in football being excused as young.

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