After Emi Martinez left Arsenal last summer, Mikel Arteta has basically just had one accomplished keeper in the squad, with Runarsson being considered a failed experiment.
But this summer, Arteta persuaded Arthur Okonkwo to sign a new contract and has installed him as the third keeper in the Arsenal first team squad, and he has brought in the highly talented Aaron Ramsdale as Leno’s competition for a starting place.
But in my opinion the real challenger to Ramsdale in the future will be the Estonian international keeper Karl Hein, who performed spectacularly again Wales a couple of weeks ago.
Despite only being 19 years old his rise has been meteoric, and he has now played 10 times for his national side. He was a regular in our Europa League squad last season, and made his senior debut in our pre-season friendly against Hibs.
Arsenal have noticed his improvement and he has now signed a new improved long-term contract, and he is very happy about it, to say the least. “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 Media.
“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.”
I think I can confidently say that when Bernd Leno is sold next summer, Arsenal will have Hein and Okonkwo battling it out to be Ramsdale’s back up.
I know who my money is on…
Here is a short video of him keeping Wales from scoring….