Already capped twice for Estonia’s U21s despite only being 18 years of age, Karl Jakob Hein is a name that has his home country excited.
After all, he is already at a big Premier League club at Arsenal, whom he joined in 2018 from Nomme United on a free transfer.
Hein has played for the Gunners at both U18 and U23 level, showing talent beyond his years, which is exactly why big clubs were after him at the time of his move to the Emirates, including Manchester United.
In an interview with the Estonian FA, Hein recalled what he felt when he was told the Red Devils were interested in signing him.
He said: “Manchester United’s offer was a shock, because it’s such a big club and I admired Edwin Van der Sar and their 2008 team, whose videos I’ve watched on YouTube. Therefore, at first, it seemed a little bit unbelievable that I would have the opportunity to go to that club.”
However, in the end, he decided to go to Arsenal to continue his career rather than journey to the north of England.
Why? He explained: “I went to every club to show myself. I was at United for three days, in other clubs for a little longer. The first impression might have been deceptive, but it seemed to me that discipline and the organisational side, as well as other details, were at a higher level at Arsenal.
“In Manchester, for example, transport was always late, which is why I was late for training. The reception at Arsenal was very friendly and the club left a very good impression, because, let’s be honest, there was no difference in terms of level because both Arsenal and United are among the top in the world.”
Hein also revealed the path of making the national team was ‘more logical’ at Arsenal, since the Gunners’ U23 team is in the top-tier, while Manchester United’s aren’t.
Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, ‘it’s also easier to go home from London’.