Arsenal legend David Seaman believes that his former club have a gem of a goalkeeper rising through the ranks. Amid fierce debate on who should be Mikel Arteta’s No 1 between Aaron Ramsdale or David Raya, up-and-coming prospect Karl Hein could make his own impact on the starting XI in years to come.
Seaman is in a better position than almost anyone to assess the Gunners’ goalkeeper situation. The ex-England international made almost 600 first-team appearances for the Londoners, and he now visits the training ground once a week to work with prospects battling their way through the youth ranks.
From those he has laid eyes on, Seaman is particularly sold on 21-year-old Hein, who has already banked a senior appearance for the Gunners.
“Karl Hein is really good,” he told Express Sport. “He’s on the fringes with the first team as well. He’s looking really promising.”
Standing at a towering 6ft 4in, Hein was already playing senior football in Estonia when Arsenal picked him up as a teenager. He had another brief taste of first-team action on loan at Reading last year, and he is a regular with the Estonian national team, racking up 24 caps to date.
At such a young age, Hein has time on his side to continue developing and pushing for first-team opportunities at the Emirates Stadium. The subject of who gets the nod between the sticks is already being hotly debated in north London, with Raya recently stepping up to replace the benched Ramsdale.
“I got released when I was 19, so I’ve got that experience to pass on. I’m there as a mentor. They know that they can ask me any questions they want.
“At the end of last season, I told a few of the guys that even though it feels like the end, it’s not the end. There’s a chance at moving on and that’s what I had to do – go to Peterborough United and rebuild my career.”
Seaman spoke to Express Sport in association with the British Heart Foundation, having taken part in their campaign to raise awareness for hidden heart disease ahead of World Heart Day on September 29.
“Heart disease is one of the world’s biggest killers and the worst thing is that you often don’t know you have a problem until it’s too late,” he said. “Over 200 people have given their time to support this campaign, with each empty seat representing a lost fan, a lost heart, an unfinished ending – it’s been a very poignant moment to be part of.
“For the football community and beyond, the British Heart Foundation’s lifesaving research offers hope to those impacted by heart disease. By shining a spotlight on heart disease this September, we can bring hidden heart conditions into focus and fund research breakthroughs to prevent more families living with that gaping hole left by the loss of a loved one.”
Ahead of World Heart Day this September, the British Heart Foundation and David Seaman are shining a spotlight on hidden heart conditions. To find out more or donate, visit spotlighton.bhf.org.uk