Bernd Leno says he’s happy at Arsenal and is keen to play his part in getting the club back into the Champions League.
While the German keeper admits he’s open to new challenges, he says he’s in no rush to bring a premature end to his time in London, a city that he and his wife both enjoy.
“I don’t want to flee here. I feel good and want to be successful again with Arsenal!
“Arsenal are a big club, which is extremely underestimated in Germany, there are many Arsenal fans all over the world.
“I still have a two-year contract and hope to play in the Champions League again with Arsenal. It is also clear that at some point in my career I want to do something different.
“So far I’ve played for two clubs. Maybe I’ll get the urge to play in another league again. Maybe in the south [of Europe]. But there is time, I’m still getting to the top goalkeeping age. But my focus is on Arsenal FC.”
Asked about a future return to the Bundesliga, he added: “Not yet, because I really like it in the Premier League and at Arsenal. Personally, I also think it’s great in London. My wife feels good, everything fits. But at some point in the Bundesliga again: why not?”
While failing to qualify for Europe for the first time since the mid-nineties is sure to spark a wave of negative headlines, Leno is already focused on how the next season can be different.
“We’re chasing the past in which stars like Thierry Henry played,” he said. “That was a different level. We’re a long way from the Champions League at the moment.
“We will most likely not be in the Europa League next season either, so the club are trying to build something new. We can fully concentrate on the league next season and dare to make this new beginning.”
He added: “The Premier League is tough. The smaller clubs really hurt you, which is why we can’t allow ourselves periods of weakness like last autumn. Otherwise, you run after the music.
“It’s not been an upwards curve since. But we last won against Chelsea, we beat Tottenham and Manchester United. The quality is there, but we couldn’t always show it.”