Arsenal has signed a new goalkeeper. He is 16 year old U19 Finnish international goalkeeper Hugo Keto. He was signed from Finnish side HJK Helsinki on a three year deal. The goalkeeper who stands at 6ft 3in, and he still growing joins the long list of young players at the club’s youth set.
The youngster, who is believed to have had trials with Liverpool, as well as being a boyhood fan of the Merseyside club, choose to join Arsenal instead. He is expected to fight it out in competition with Ryan Huddart in Arsenal’s U18 squad.
There is no doubt, that many affiliated to the club would have sighed, oh, not again, another youngster, when the club is crying out for players in the first team. It has become how the club operates, and nothing will stop it from changing that now. Besides, Arsenal’s first team goalkeeper today, Wojciech Szczesny came in through the same path when he arrived as a 16 year old from Poland.
However, it is finding a balance between streamlining what the club’s academy needs, and the overall needs of the first team that has been the albatross of those at Highbury House.
No doubt, while the club’s fans must have been waiting for a signing that would make an immediate impact on the first team, the club have only gone further to add another player to the reserves days after it signed another youngster Ben Sheaf from West Ham United.
It has always been the pattern of the club to bring in young players most times at the expense of the first team. No doubt safeguarding the future of the club is of importance to the life of any club. Yet, when those affiliated to the club are eager to see first team signing, there is always an antecedent from the club almost every summer, as it brings in a player of lesser means ditto Yaya Sanogo. As well as the likes of Francis Coquelin in 2008, the Norwegian Havard Nordtveit and others who were brought in at their teens.
There will always be hue and cry anytime there is a signing that many see as not of immediate importance to the fortunes of the club. Yet, every player cannot be a cheque book player, some have to come in through the youth set up. Despite the desire of many to see that the academy of the club grows, it is does not strengthen the hands of the club when it is done at the expense of the first team.
However, the signing of experience heads during the past few seasons have seen that trend changing.