This summer, Bernd Leno will have two years left on his Arsenal contract. It’s the time when players and clubs have to start thinking about what comes next.

Speaking ahead of Thursday’s Europa League quarter-final second leg against Slavia Prague, the German international said there had yet to be any discussions about an extension, but insisted his only focus right now is what remains of this season.

The Gunners hopes of playing European football next year depend on what happens tomorrow night, and in the rest of the tournament, and that’s what the 29 year old is setting his sights on.

Asked if there had been any talks about a new deal, Leno said, “Not yet and at the moment it’s not the time to speak about the future.

“I know that I still have two years left on my contract and I’m also 29. For a goalkeeper, that’s not too old. I’ve still got some years to go.

“I’m very happy at the club. I don’t know what will come in the future, but I’m open to everything. Maybe for a new adventure or to stay at Arsenal. Like I said, I don’t think about my future because two years is a long time.

“At the moment there are no conversations with the club or anything else.”

As for what we face tomorrow night, he continued, “Very tough. They have beaten good teams in the competition.

“We dominated them in our home game but you could also see that they are very dangerous on counter-attacks, on set-pieces. We know what to expect and it will be a very tough game, especially away.

“But we also know that it’s a dangerous result for both teams. Once we score one goal, they are under big pressure. This should be our target: to score the first goal and then with a second goal we can almost finish the game because they’ll have to score three goals.

“There’s only one way, which is to go through. Nothing else.”

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Ben

He’s one we should be keeping – a solid, good keeper!

Andy

i agree. i would put leno up there with best in PL. not sure we could improve without spending a lot of money. i don’t undestand why he has been taking so much stick in recent weeks given he was one of our most consistent performers up until his recent blip in form. class act.

A Voice in the Noise

Like the rest of the team this season, he’s had his up’s and down’s. His reflexes are amazing and has saved us time and again, while his distribution is sometimes quite poor (which is what he’s been rightfully scrutinized for of late), but overall he’s a very fine GK and not a player I feel we need to replace.

His backup however…

Andy

yes we need a quality backup who can put some pressure on him. is hein any good? he is already playing international at very young age. i also heard somewhere okonkwo is likely leaving in summer.

Martin

He’s never been consistent since he joined us and hie recent form is not a blip but a continuation of how bad he’s been since joining us

Naked Cygan

Why are you always negative?

Martin

Unlike you I’m not but when it comes to Leno it’s hard to see anything positive.

LEFT08

The benchmark should be Seaman. That should be the standard at Arsenal. Millennials, look him up before downvoting.

Andy

there aren’t that many seamans around. just look at the array of average keepers who have had the england no.1 shirt since… leno is in top 3/4 keepers in PL, loves being at the club and seems to be a really good presence behind the scenes. no need to make any changes there.

LEFT08

He is a nice guy, no doubt. So was Jenkinson. Every big club has a better goalie than us. Even Leicester. Spurs even have the world cup holder ffs.

Public Elneny

Lloris is crap these days. Glued to his line. Spurs fans want him replaced Henderson is no way better than Leno. De Gea’s weaknesses are more pronounced than Leno’s and has been in poor form for much longer Schmeichel and Mendy very debatable Ederson is better yes Allison – yes, but currently in even worse form Fabianski – no Pickford – no Meslier – no Martinez – probably Patricio – no Guaita – limited skillset, so no McCarthy – no Robert Sanchez – maybe, big talent Pope – very limited, would come badly unstuck at a club like us Dubravka… Read more »

Crash Fistfight

Agree with all of that.

I wouldn’t mind Johnstone as a backup if he were cheap, though. (mostly because I don’t want to waste a non-homegrown place on a backup keeper)

Riku

Not a negative comment about Leno. I think pope is v good. Better than you say

Andy

i wouldn’t take schmeichel or lloris over leno. even allison has shown this season he is not that great when he is put to work more than usual – he lost his place at roma to an on-loan szczesny, don’t forget. de gea has lost his place. there’s nobody out there that wouldn’t cost crazy money that would be a significant upgrade on leno. i think there is some other reason you just don’t like him.

LEFT08

That’s the thing though. We are fans, not accountants. We should demand the club owners spend as much as our competitors on the best players around. We pay over the top for everything from tickets to shirts. The Kroenkes are doing fuck all.

Biggles

If only that would work. I’m sure the owner would say that Arsenal is a “self-sustaining” business model (that’s what they say in every financial statement anyway) and basically, money spent must come from money generated. I doubt that will change significantly any time soon. Real top quality keepers are very few and far between and probably keep their price (along with the few superstar strikers) better than anyone else so getting such a replacement is likely to be very costly as others have said. However, most successful sides are built from the defence up and that starts with the… Read more »

Tapps

So, the ‘benchmark’ should be the greatest goalkeeper of all time? They are very demanding standards!

LEFT08

Of course. We are talking about Arsenal.

Public Elneny

I only remember his last 2 or 3 seasons when he was a bit arthritic and could seemingly be beaten from anywhere on the pitch. Alex Manninger seemed way better to me! Although as a kid elastic saves were probably more impressive than reliable handling and positioning

Downvote away!

I also think it’s worth mentioning that modern keepers have a harder job due to greater expectations to play out from the back and sweep up behind high lines. Lighter, swervier balls too

Andy

doesn’t look so “arthritic” here, at 40 years old in his last season at the club. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTBkWRs7r-c.

Biggles

Yes, swervier balls certainly make a difference.

Timorous Me

A lot of Millennials grew up with him as their keeper! That generation started being born in like 1983.

The only sp*rs i like is san antonio

You do know that millenials are those who were born roughly in 84-85 til 96 right? Coz sure I know and watched Seaman back in the days (late 90-early 2000) quite a lot

Crash Fistfight

I thought it was 1982 onwards, because you’d be 18 in the year 2000?

Daveo

Yes, a good, not great Goalkeeper in a good not great team. Selling our Great Goalkeeper (who has proven it this season) was such a typical Arsenal move. Leno’s save % is mediocre, his distribution and decision making is mediocre, excellent shot stopper, but prefers to palm or punch away than catch. Perhaps only as a shot stopper (and even that is a stretch for Leno) is he on par with Emi Martinez who is statistically a top 3 GK in the league from the time he came in for Leno last season until now. And he is still fighting… Read more »

gus

Hes an average keeper for the average team we have become—
poor on crosses and distribution , errors often lead to direct goals

martinez miles better as was sczeney..

oh well its his jersey now for the next 5 years at least

Martin

Obviously have failed to notice the number of errors he’s made this season. Nothing solid about him at all. I hope we can find one as good as the keeper we sold to Villa

DPK

There’s Martin – can’t believe it took you so long!! Of course you’re not a ‘toxic’ supporter, you only apply that term to posters who criticise players that you personally like. I keep forgetting.

Martin

Why am I being toxic in criticising a poor keeper. I also criticise Willian as virtually every Arsenal supporter does.

Naked Cygan

Why alway so negative?

karl

The only thing stopping him being one of the best is our defence. So many individual errors have exposed him more than other keepers in the league.

Hopefully that can be erradicated next season if we are serious about improvement.

Red Arrow

And good at maths too.

Eme

Please SELL. Not good enough for PL.

LEFT08

Not good enough for Arsenal. If only we didn’t have bigger problems everywhere else on the pitch (and the bench and boardroom for that matter)…

Johnny 4 Hats

Yeah, I’m not 100% sold on Leno.

And when you look at the fact we have grown Szcz, Fabianski and Martinez and all three are as good if not better than Leno, it’s hard to understand why we haven’t given one of them the number one jersey.

Bleeding gums murphy

We got rid of wrong keeper. First time in years there was a confidence in the defenders and the supporters with martinez in goal. His command of the area when coming to claim/catch a cross was so reassuring. Against Sheffield United Leno tried to punch one instead of catching under no pressure whatsoever. Leno is excess hot stopper but that’s it I’m afraid. Average in other areas.

Daveo

Statistically there is no question about this. People ranted about “small sample size” at the end of the season. Well they now have more than a full season’s sample size and statistically (save% & clean sheets & errors leading to goals & #saves), subjectively (ratings-based), and the eye-test all show Martinez is clearly the better Goalie. Anyone trying to argue is doing so out of personal bias for our player. Save %: Martinez 78.4% (#1 in EPL starters) Leno 68.9% (#13) Clean sheet%: Martinez 46.7% (#3) Leno 30% (=#10) #Save: Marinez 107 (#4) Leno 75 (#13) Errors leading to goals:… Read more »

Andy

anyone pulling out whatever stats suit their argument to make it sound scientific is doing so out of personal bias for the player. these are stats for a season where arsenal as a team have done very badly and villa as a team have done very well.

it’s a pity we lost martinez but given the situation choosing him and letting leno go would have been a huge gamble and we got a good fee so i don’t see why people have to keep bringing up martinez all the time. it’s like a cult.

Johnny 4 Hats

Why does it matter if Villa have done well and Arsenal have done poorly?

They occupy a very similar place in the league so it’s actually a pretty good comparison stats wise. If you were comparing Ederson with the WBA goalkeeper then you’d have a point.

Bleeding gums murphy

I think you just took his middle stump Johnny, well played sir.

Andy

well, it matters that arsenal have had a pretty chaotic season with a constantly changing defence and villa haven’t. if you look at stats for leno last season they are v similar to martinez for this. leno also consistently better passing % over both seasons. my point is there is very little between them and we chose the more experienced option with lowest risk. i don’t understand why folks are getting so worked up about leno/martinez. we have much bigger issues to deal with and leno is one of best keepers in the league, definitely good enough for a team… Read more »

DPK

You’re right Johnny. 2 teams in very similar positions in the league. Arsenal have conceded 35 goals in 31 games, Villa 33 in 30. Would suggest not much difference in performance of their keepers ?

Actually Leno missed one game so his stats are 34 conceded in 30. i.e. one more than Martinez in the same number of games.

Daveo

That’s a pretty simplistic stat right there. So you chose that over save%, total saves, or errors leading to goals?

DPK

I think if you have two teams with very similar positions in the table & results, it seems simple, but pretty reasonable. I think we can get a bit lost in stats…and I’m probably a bit old fashioned that way…. but then I did see an interview with Kasper Schmeichel a couple of years back & he reckoned stats for goalkeepers were basically meaningless….he would know better than me ! Anyway, I didn’t mean to get bogged down in a stats discussion at all. To me, they are simply two very good keepers playing at a similar level. Happy to… Read more »

Daveo

You sound like a politician that doesn’t like the evidence science has presented them about climate change.

DPK

Bloody hell that’s harsh 😂

DPK

I once remember a game where Ospina broke the record for number of saves in a PL game…..which sounds impressive…..except he was absolutely rubbish that game ! That’s my concern with stats.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Stats in football can be misleading. What areas have both keepers faced shots on target from? One on ones? Deflected shots? Xhaka vs Burnley? Penalties?

karl

Yes. How many times did Arsenal play with 10 men this season.

Vonnie

Emi is much better at crosses, Leno is still punching them out when he should be catching them, but I think that Emi is far better with his command of the defence and his distribution, that gives the other players confidence and doesn’t show up in stats at all. There’s a lot more to a good goalie than just stopping shots.

Public Elneny

Bear in mind that Martinez chose to leave because he was only given a 75-95% chance (the exact % varies depending on the interview he gave) of retaining the starting spot into this season by Arteta He wanted the starting spot without serious competition, which was a bit much to expect for a keeper who had as little experience as he did vs a keeper with as much as Leno. Maybe he was scarred by all those years as 2nd/3rd/4th choice and didn’t want to risk losing the battle and end up with few options this summer It seems pretty… Read more »

Cechmate

We all know what happened to players that trusted MA and chose to stay back – AMN, Auba, Eddie in Jan etc. So, seems like Emi made a wise decision, maybe it’s not MA’s fault entirely but that doesn’t change the outcome.

Public Elneny

We’ll see how the remainder of Emi’s career pans out vs how Leno’s does I suspect he might regret tying his peak years to a club who are mid-table in their best season in over a decade vs. us who are around the same position in our worst season for a lot longer than that + still playing in the latter stages of the EL A little like Fabianski perhaps, who isn’t quite as good as Emi, but who also suddenly blossomed into a dependable GK in his mid/late 20s. Ended up playing his peak years at relegation candidates Swansea… Read more »

Vonnie

Can’t believe we let Emi go for peanuts, Leno isn’t a top goalkeeper and doesn’t sound particularly fussed about staying or going. What was a really solid position in the team could start becoming a problem.

Andy

we didn’t let him go. he had been at the club 10 years and never got a look in until leno got injured. he decided he needed to be no.1 somewhere which was the right thing for him. we couldn’t guarantee that so no other option but to sell. it was a no-brainer to choose leno, who has 10 years of top flight experience as a no.1 over what would have been a huge gamble with martinez.

if we made any mistakes re. keepers in recent years it was arsene letting szczesny go to juve for 10m quid.

Andy

and 20m quid for a guy who is 27 and has only about 30 top flight appearances under his belt is not peanuts. it was a great fee to get under the circumstances. one of those rare deals where everyone got what they wanted.

DPK

Agree with all of that Andy. It’s also a myth that Martinez’s form has been so good for Villa that it proves we made a terrible mistake. He’s had a good season no doubt……but certainly not much (if at all) better than Leno who has also been really good.

Duny

What the fuck? He literally has been in multiple team of the month and statistically top 2 keepers in the league. Arsenal fans keep clinging onto the “has been only good for 6 matches” when it’s obviously just sour grapes

DPK

I said he’s had a good season – doesn’t exactly tie in with ‘has been only good for 6 matches’. I’m not sour at all, I’m delighted for him he is doing well.

Andy

yep. i have seen him make some howlers on MOTD as well as some great saves. but that would be true of pretty much any keeper. i like martinez and think he will do well now he is first choice at villa. in hindsight you could say signing cech when we did was a really bad move. ospina too. if anyone missed an opportunity with martinez it was probably arsene (again). he was never the best judge of a keeper (maybe gerry peyton can take some of the blame here too). i often wonder if we would have won a… Read more »

Daveo

Myth Busted:
Save %: Martinez 78.4% (#1 in EPL starters) Leno 68.9% (#13)
Clean sheet%: Martinez 46.7% (#3) Leno 30% (=#10)
#Save: Marinez 107 (#4) Leno 75 (#13)
Errors leading to goals: https://twitter.com/optajoe/status/1211312896346644481?lang=en

DPK

Genuine questions – why is the number of clean sheets deemed so important ? Leno has conceded 35 goals in 31 games, Martinez 33 in 30. That would seem a more important comparison than the number of clean sheets ? (to me anyway)

Daveo

Sure it’s a stat, why would that be more important than save%? What % of shots on target do you save? Martinez is keeping out 10% more, and not making the errors Leno does. Leno is a good goalie. Emi is a better goalie. It’s just so Arsenal to do that.

Timorous Me

To get that kind of fee in the middle of a pandemic when practically no one was being sold is actually quite impressive. Do we actually land Thomas Partey without this sale? Obviously the Kroenkes could afford him without that money, but we all know how they operate. So it feels to me like a painful but necessary bit of business.

Daveo

I don’t disagree, we needed to sell one to get someone like partey, except we sold the wrong guy. We sold the great goalie and kept the good one all the while maintaining ambitions of improvement. Arsenal through and through. Leno is fine. Arsenal is fine. If fine makes you happy, power to you.

Dave

Agreed on all points Daveo. And stats aside there’s multiple areas that are hard to quantify with stats where Martinez is better.

I will always support Leno as long as he’s with us but he’s not World Class.

Martinez is. We sold the wrong keeper.

Crash Fistfight

Personally I don’t think either is ‘World Class’ but you guys keep flogging that dead horse.

Also, if nobody was in for Leno, how could we have sold him instead?

Vonnie

Neither of them was really on the market, Villa came with a cheeky bid, unsettled the player and he left. If Leno was put on the market he would’ve been sold easily. Although I wish Emi would stop talking all the time I still think we sold the wrong keeper.

Chrispy

Heard he wanted out at any cost so these comments contradict that. He’s OK but still feel we sold the wrong keeper for Arteta’s style of play.

Havyn

He’s been crap
Conceding cheap goals
A mistake selling Martinez
Has no competition so fooling
He needs a better goal keeper for the competition

Parteylikeits2001

Leno is decent keeper. Martinez is a better keeper. Leno would of been the right option to move along as he would of got a decent fee still. Unfortunately as per normal Arsenal transfers, it will cost a lot to improve that area as we sold a better one for £20mill! Nothing against Leno but if we didn’t have issues in nearly all other areas of the pitch, he would of been replaced by someone else. If we could get £20mill plus for Leno and get someone in like Pope for a chunk under that, i wouldn’t mind that as… Read more »

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Didn’t know he was that old, I was thinking 25/26ish. He’s not perfect, but I feel confident with him in goal, it’s been a while since I could say that about our no1 keeper

PGunner

With the benefit of hindsight, I would probably have kept Martinez and we might have been able to get, say 30mil for Leno, 10mil for a decent young backup keeper and 20mil towards squad rebuild. I’ve nothing against Leno but I think Martinez is better and more comfortable with the ball at his feet, which is clearly important for the way the gaffer wants this team to play.

Mpls

I can’t see any reason to mess about with this one. It’s very rare that he has cost us a match, and any of the world’s top keepers do on occasion. And he’s kept us in many. The last position we should be thinking about making a major change. We should be sure we have a solid backup/ competition situation though.

Wham Bam Aubameyang

From an asset management standpoint, it would have made sense to have leveraged the sale of Martinez on the condition that Leno extended his contract past 2023. It is possible that Leno leaves this Summer for a “new adventure”, he is a top quality international GK with hundreds of professional performances, at 29 years of age, while not in the twilight of his career, it is very likely he would want to leave for European football, something that it is very unlikely we will be able to offer in 21/22. That Martinez deal could very easily come to bite us… Read more »

Jack p

Surprised we didnt couple the selling of martinez with leno signing a new deal to ensure we had the position covered, but then again this club fails to surprise me in regards to contracts

Just hope we dont get left in a position of having to replace leno

Biggles

At least we’re not down to his final year. Let’s hope Arsenal get something sorted, one way or another, before we reach that point. I think he should be offered an extension, but we’ll see.

Warthog

I am amazed at the disrespect Leno gets from the fan base. How easily they forget the Emery swiss cheese defense years. He saved our bacon so many times and has consistently been a top 3 performer on the team. I admit I was not sold on him during his 1st season but he has grown into an elite shot stopper. Plus he has fire in his belly which this team has sorely lacked for years. All this Emi is better drivel is just that, drivel. If Emi were better why couldn’t he beat out Ospina, an end of his… Read more »

Merlin’s Panini

People complain a lot about Leno not catching the ball and punching instead. If you punch well it can be an advantage. It can potentially catch the opposition out of position quicker than if you catch it then throw it out. Of course if you catch it you guarantee you have control of the ball and it’s probably overall safer. As long as you can throw it well. Those who complain about Leno’s distribution don’t realise that playing out from the back constantly is demanding for any goalkeeper. He was renowned for being good at it when we signed him.… Read more »

Dave

Leno is a good goalkeeper. We might win cups with him. We won’t win a title with him, though. That’s what we should be aiming for.

Crash Fistfight

We wouldn’t win titles with Jan Oblak in goal. Have you not noticed Man City spending half a billion quid on their team over the last 5 years?

El Mintero

Leno has cost us points last 8 games. Been culpable for numerous goals that should never have went in. Punt him end of the season.

Aidan H

You’ve got to support the players in the shirt obvs but we haven’t had a decent keeper since Mad Jens really. Maybe they just aren’t many around currently; at least “fully formed”. There’s a reason no one seems to be able to pry Oblak from Atletico. Certainly the “art” of catching high balls, dominating the area and marshalling defences is generally not what it was. Many contemporary managers/coaches seem to have a blind spot when it comes to goalies, including (so far) Arteta, but It’s notable that both Pep and Klopp got wise to the importance of the position whilst… Read more »