Arsenal beat Man Utd & Juventus to Estonian teen

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The Estonia Under 17 international will spend three years with the north London side and is being advised by a former Gunners player

Arsenal have beaten Manchester United and Juventus to the signing of 16-year-old goalkeeper Karl Jakob Hein.

The Estonia Under 17 international has also attracted interest from Brighton and Southampton, while he had trials at Juventus and German side Ingolstadt. 

It is Arsenal who have won out, however, as Hein, whose youth team is headed up by ex-Gunners goalkeeper Mart Poom, is set to spend the next three years in the youth academy.

"The first year is about academic education," Poom told Postimees Sport .

"Two years later, he will be able to play at U18 level, and then he will be in the U23s. Then it depends on him. We hope he will reach the first team. That's definitely very difficult, but not impossible.

"It might be said that he joined Arsenal because of me, but this great decision was made by the boy with his family. Each club had certain advantages and disadvantages. I did not put pressure on him to choose Arsenal, but I promised to support him, no matter what decision he made.

"It was, of course, difficult to choose, because this is an extraordinary opportunity for an Estonian these are all three top league clubs, all of which should be very good football education. Arsenal offers him very good conditions for development. 

"The small advantage with Arsenal is that I know the people there and in the academy. I can keep an eye on him and advise him if necessary.

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Poom, who spent two seasons at Arsenal overall, talked up the teenager's prospects and is confident he can go far in the game.

"He is talented, hardworking, has the right attitude, a supportive family and big dreams," he said. "From a physical perspective, he has everything to reach the top. Of course, he must put in a tremendous amount of work for this, to stay healthy and also need some luck."

Hein has already made five appearances for Nomme United in the Esiliiga B and has eight caps for Estonia U17s.

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