Arsenal

Mehmet Ali hails ‘impressive’ 21-year-old as Arsenal U21s beat Chelsea U21s

Arsenal coach Mehmet Ali singled Karl Hein for praise after the Gunners Under-21s ran out 4-2 winners away at Chelsea’s U21s.

The 21-year-old goalkeeper made some “excellent” saves as Arsenal‘s youngsters emerged triumphant in a “really entertaining” London derby.,

Arsenal U21s came from behind to run riot at Kingsmeadow, going from 1-0 down to 4-1 up, before Chelsea netted a late consolation.

Deivid Washington netted for the hosts in the 22nd minute, but Taylor Foran equalised for Arsenal in the 33rd minute on the rebound from a saved Amaro Cozier-Duberry effort.

The scores remained level at the break, but in the 54th minute, James Sweet dribbled past two defenders and carved out some space to hammer into the top corner.

Ethan Nwaneri then made it 3-1 to Arsenal when he got the better of three markers before slotting into the bottom corner.

And with just six minutes left in the game, Nathan Butler-Oyedeji’s cross led to an own goal from Zak Sturge.

Karl Hein makes ‘excellent saves’ as Arsenal U21s beat Chelsea U21s
As for Hein, he was on hand to make some superb saves throughout, with two stand-out stops at 1-1 and then 2-1 to keep Arsenal in the game.

“I thought it was a really good advert for under-21s football from two good footballing sides, both teams going toe to toe. It was really entertaining,” Ali told the Arsenal media team.

“From my perspective or our perspective as a group of staff we wanted to have a bit more control in the game because it could’ve been 5-5 at half-time.

“We had Karl [Hein] in goal and he made some excellent saves for us and also some of our play in some of the areas we got into was excellent this evening.”

Karl Hein future uncertain at Arsenal
It’s good to see a young player singled out for praise, and Hein is certainly a top talent for Arsenal.

However, with his contract expiring in the summer, it remains to be seen what his future holds.

At present, Mikel Arteta has David Raya and Aaron Ramsdale vying for the No. 1 spot, so Hein won’t really get a look-in except in case of injuries or suspensions.

Beyond that, there’s a good chance one of the above may leave in the summer, but even then, Hein would likely remain second-choice at best.

Now he’s 21 years of age, perhaps the best thing would be for him to move elsewhere in the summer, somewhere he’s almost guaranteed to start regularly. He should have no shortage of suitors.

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