Leno: I don’t want to flee Arsenal

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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.

In comments that echo those made in an interview with Sky Sports last week, Leno told German site Sport 1.

“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.”

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James

German expressions sound great translated

goonerrah

This is a tactic to raise his price tag and prevent teams from lowballing us

Mayor McCheese

This, in English, sounds pretty good, too, though (from Chaucer):

“This Nicholas anon let flee a fart
As great as it had been a thunder-dent
That with the strook he was almost yblent [blind].”

goonshow

Loves me a little Chauce of a Monday evening, I does.

Eddy F

2 years left.

Sign a new contract or sell.

Be ruthless.

Johnny 4 Hats

If we do sell it’s going to look like complete stupidity on Arteta and Edu’s part. We had two great keepers on the books and 12 months later are searching for a keeper. More quintessential Arsenal behaviour.

To be honest, we have finite time and finite resources so to go chasing goalkeepers this summer would be a poor use of the window. Unless of course Raya is ready to join. But that’s a massive gamble.

I’m not wedded to Leno but let’s give him a new contact and get on with more pressing issues.

myrtle

Raya? Opsina 2.0
No thanks.

Johnny 4 Hats

I know absolutely nothing about him so can’t judge.

It does seem bizarre to me that Fabianski, Szcz and Martinez are all out there, sculpted by our academy, and easily all have more than enough quality to be our number 1.

But we’ve got a German guy that cost us £25m. What’s the point in the academy if we don’t utilise the talent?

Daveo

quintessential Arsenal behaviour”

loose_cannon

We utilized the academy by getting a fee for those players tbf.

Johan

Didn’t Szczesny go for 8 million quid, and Fabianski for free, or am I remembering this wrong?

A P

Why do we call Fabianski Flappy hands while he was here then?

Jasonissimo

“quintessential Arsenal fan behavior”?

Public Elneny

More like midget Almunia

I’ve only really seen him play 5 or 6 times, and maybe I’ve just caught his worst games, but he was a disaster zone in each

Assshavin

Was it really their faults though? They needed the money to strengthen midfield. And those 20 million pounds for Martinez shouldnt have been necesarry. Any other club in the top 10, would have kept both keepers, and bought Partey. Were one of the biggest clubs in the world afterall and 20 million pounds should be nothing.

Really infuriating how many times we had to let go of players because of a “tight” budget, when we are one of the most recognisable sport franchises in the world.

Atom

We didn’t just buy Partey though. We bought Partey, Gabriel, Mari & gave contacts to Cedric/Willian/Auba.

Johnny 4 Hats

I agree the Martinez situation was a needs must sale. But if Arteta and Edu we’re so convinced of Leno’s credentials that they were happy to let Martinez go, then why would they be looking at moving him on a year later?

I think it’s easy to forget just how good Emi was in that cup run. Although it was a small sample size I personally think, given his performances for Villa too, that we go it wrong and should’ve shown Leno the exit last summer.

Cultured Determination

noone wanted and noone wants leno

A Different George

But Leno didn’t want to go, and Martinez did (unless he could be assured of being first choice). So, no choice at all.

Dave

We should’ve assured him.

Martin R

Yes there was a distinct choice. Keep Martinez as the vastly keeper

Cobwebs

Martinez wasn’t prepared to stay, so keeping him and Leno wsnnt an option

goonshow

Wasn’t needs must if we’d left Willy where he belonged on the other side of London.

goonshow

Really put the money splurged on Willian into perspective though. Hands up how many would rather have ploughed that into keeping Emi…

Daveo

But this is just it, giving big contracts to slightly above average guys is exactly the “quintessential Arsenal behaviour” you are talking about. Leno is pretty good, but he’s just not that great. He’s an elite shot stopper, but prefers to palm and punch than catch, which can be a problem (as opposed to Emi who was an excellent catcher of the ball), he has decent command of his area, decent distribution, and has decent technique with the ball at his feet (none of those three that flashy though). However, his decision making is below average and he is very… Read more »

Johnny 4 Hats

I always think of Roy Keane when someone declares a keeper to be a good shot stopper. I believe “Yeah. That’s his job” was the response.

Daveo

I mean sure, but some just aren’t that good at stopping the shots. Some are really great at it (Leno is), but they leave some juicy rebounds, and the best are great at it and hold onto the ball (I’m thinking of a certain Argi keeper…can you guess?).

thw14

I get what you mean, but there’s also organising the defense. and claiming crosses/corners. That’s apart from passing, about which Keane is probably sceptical.

Cobwebs

I think his decision making is good but his distribution is fairly poor. The worst aspect of his game.

Public Elneny

Shades of 07/08 where we had Gilberto, Flamini and Lassana Diarra competing to be the starting DM

Went into 08/09 with… Denilson

Andy

Denilson said that he’d only leave Arsenal for a top 4 club. Surely the most optimistic expression of one’s talents ever made?

Martin R

We had Martinez who was a great keeper. Please tell me who the other one is?

loose_cannon

It’s Leno 😉

A Different George

This is just revisionism. Emi had been at the club a decade, had sometimes looked promising, and sometimes much less so. He had a good but very limited run at the end of the season. That was enough to be sure he was an adequate second-choice, and that he *might* be good enough to be first-choice. There was zero evidence that he was a “great” keeper or that he was a significant improvement on Leno.

Martin R

There was complete evidence he was a vastly superior keeper in every way. Leno has been a liability from day one and has cost us more points than any other player. The worst keeper in living memory

michael scott

are you 3 years old? Liability form day one, in his first season he made loads of crucial saves Woves H everton H watford H spurs A come to mind plus hes been better for us than fabianski & Ospina and arguably Cech. keepers are only gonna be as good as the defence in front of them. Emi played behind a consistent back 5 that worked Leno is behind an ever changing back 4 that doesn’t. hes not the best but he’s far from the worst imo.

Martin R

How about the number of games he has cost us which you kindly forget. Do you not realise that his lack of command, poor distribution and lack of communication with the defenders undermines the defence. To even suggest that liability Leno is better than Cech just shows how little you know about keepers

Dave

Don’t agree with the hyperbole, but do agree with the sentiment.

Sebastian

Were there any suitors for Leno a year ago?

Thierrys_Tears

There is so much to fix in front of him. Can’t see spending on a keeper now, fix some of the bad and hope he returns to form.

Qwaliteee

Well said mate. 👍🍺

lessthanthesumoftheirparts

Agreed. I trust him about as far as I could throw him. Clearly making eyes at other clubs and has his agent sounding out suitors in the shadows.
Sell him to Serie A and get a keeper who wants to be here. He’s far from irreplaceable, we sold our best one to Aston Villa last season ffs.

Martin R

Why would you want our greatest liability to sign a new contract? Sell.

David Hilliers Arm Cast

Treat it like a business and be ruthless? If we go that route we have to accept it across all facets of the club…

Devils advocate here, howdy!

Andy

We backed him over Martinez. We should stick with him. There are far greater priorities, as we all can see.

Dave

There really aren’t.

Hermann Bando

I like Leno, I hope he signs up. Plenty of keepers take a while to settle and he appears to have a calm head and enjoys being at the club. I believe he’ll develop into a class goalkeeper if he stays. Man United fans hated De Gea for years before he became the player he was (he’s regressed since, but yeah, if Leno follows that path then great).

goonerrah

Leno cant do what Arteta wants. He is terrible with his feet. Sell him or get a new manager, stop this halfway nonesense

Ipal Taka

Maybe some bad decision making occasionally (so more like, bad with his head) but clearly he is not terrible with his feet. In fact, he is very good with his feet, which is why we started to play the ball out so heavily from the back (with some mixed results, but overall i think it is important to have a GK like Leno, who can join play)

David C

Should we keep him? That’s the question…

I think we can do better, but I also think we need to focus our funds and energy on other areas.

Ryan seems like a good option. I would sign him as a backup.

Viva la prof

Alphonse Areola is a better keeper than Leno at the moment, I’m not educated enough to know if Leno has a higher ceiling or whatever but I hope we go in for Areola

Fezec

Areola is a bit of a tit.

Fezec

Someone needs to be there to tap in to the empty net. I regret nothing.

Toure Motors

Fantastic, well played!

A Different George

Areola belongs to PSG (which can pay him as a first-choice keeper while he is on loan). He wants to be Lloris’ successor for France and PSG (with an aging Navas) is the route for that.

Mentally Drained Gooner

I like how he speaks.

Cangooner

IMHO, if we can extend his contract 1-2 years, keep Leno, sign Ryan as backup, and focus on the parts of the squad that *need* surgery. If he won’t extend, then we have to sell and move on. But I think we’d be much better off if the club’s focus was not taken away from the more pressing issues further up the pitch.

filsuf

he’s a 7/10 keeper. should sell him if a good offer comes

matt keeler

Yeah 7/10 every week
Occasionally he’s 9/10 and saves our bacon.
If we can get him to extend for the right salary we need to do it.

El Mintero

He’s absolutely not 7/10 every week.

Sancheezy

*with the (rare) occasional 4/10 performance.

El Mintero

“With the increasingly common 4/10 performance”.

Biggles

Possibly, but who do you buy (who is presumably 8/10 or more on your rating)? And how much will the difference be that we’ll have to find – along with all the other calls on scarce resources?

David Hilliers Arm Cast

Allison had a run of like 3-4 games where he was atrocious and got dropped. Now look at him the hero who saved the season!

He cost 70 million.

SarcasmB0T

Remind me again why we decided to sell one of our two fairly comparable goalkeepers without extending the other’s contract?

Dave Cee

We sold the wrong keeper is the answer 🙁

Daveo

It’s still so crazy to me people actually think Leno is better than Martinez despite Emi’s form at the end of last season and then backing it up as one of the top 3 GKs in the league this year, all without the seizure inducing errors.

Boskolos

Martinez : having a fantastic season ( top 3 according to you), conceded 44 goals despite keeping 15 clean sheets, plays with a consistent backline and midfield ( I can name 10 of their starting players every week), and 11th in league. I wonder what an average season would look like. Leno: having a bad year, has conceded 36 goals and kept 10 clean sheets, plays with different backline almost every week ( we change our backline like the way Chelsea change managers), and 9th in the league. I wonder what a consistent backline and a fantastic season would look… Read more »

Jarghs

A measured, considered and evidence based comment… on the Internet… on a football blog… on an Arsenal football blog…

WITCH! BURN THE HERETIC!

Daveo

Save%: Martinez 76.6% (2nd); Leno 68.5% (14th)

Man of the Match awards: Martinez 7 (2nd in whole league only behind K#*e); Leno 0.

Who scored player rating: Martinez 7.0 (1st among GKs); Leno 6.51 (16th among GKs)

TomH

Demand for the No1 jersey at a point where in all fairness that decision could not be made without causing more (than we already had) disruption in the dressing room.

As much as I wish we had given Martinez what he wanted, considering the whole picture around the club at the time I can fully understand why it went the way it did.

Such is life.

Biggles

Unfortunately, one thing we’ve learned (to our cost) at Arsenal over the years is that efficient handling of contracts isn’t a strong point – and it still isn’t in too many cases.

Walcott's left footed curl

I never really understood the scepticism some fans has towards Leno. He has his iffy moment, and I probably agree that we should have kept Martinez instead (although turning down 20m i covid times would also have been stupid), but he is nowhere near our problem. In my view he’s good enough for any title aspiring team. Not saying he wins you titles on his own (few keepers do), but if the rest of the team functions, Leno is a good keeper. And we really should focus on the rest of team right now. It far more important to make… Read more »

Biggles

Probably for the best. Selling him and then finding a suitable replacement would be an extra hassle in what looks to be a very busy, but potentially “tricky”, summer transfer window.

Badaab

i think he has to stay this year, regardless of what we think of him or what he wants, because we’re not going to have the resources to replace all the other players that are likely off this summer (some of which we don’t need to shift, but arteta seems determined- ie bellerin)

goonerrah

Can’t use that as an excuse. No more compromises after the last few years. Do things the right way.

Cultured Determination

Italy and Spain are in southern Europe. Declined greatly this season.

Crash Fistfight

transfer chain with Milan and Juventus? Donnarumma to Juventus, Szczesny to Arsenal, Leno to Milan?

Carole

Well, we need to spend a lot of money on the squad, so not having to buy a new keeper would be helpful.

goonerrah

Owners said they don’t need the money, so why do we care how much anything costs?

Biggles

Yes, but not needing money so they don’t need to sell the club doesn’t equate to meaning they can spend it like it’s going out of fashion. If the owners did that, they probably would need the money after all.

The Beast

The owners not needing money from the sale of the club obviously isn’t the same as the club not needing to balance the books when it comes to transfers.

We obviously dont have unlimited funds for transfers, so why waste it on an area where strengthening isn’t a priority?

Definitely would be helpful. Though aren’t Edu and Co. still looking to buy a backup keeper according to the article?

Better one headache than two I suppose.

Biggles

“”Arsenal are a big club, which is extremely underestimated in Germany” = Arsenal are a big club here but hardly anyone rates them back home. Painful, but probably true.

DialSquareGoon

They’ve seen Bayern destroy us about 4 times.

Craig

Leno always speaks well. I agree we have the quality in areas to compete but we need to generate the consistency and more often than not losing focus in games costs us

Qwaliteee

We need to keep this lad, he’s a top ‘keeper who has bailed us out of many a defeat down to the crass stupidity of the so-called defenders in front of him.
To sell him would also be crass stupidity.

Which means that Arteta and Edu will probably sell him.

El Mintero

My arse he’s a top keeper. He alone cost us 4 games feb-march due to his ineptitude. Also, you wanted to punt him last month after he made his initial “I’m looking for a new adventure” comment. But now you love him. Lol.

Qwaliteee

Rubbish. Maybe one or two games – but four…? You’re clearly thinking of Ceballos or Xhaka.

I said that any player who didn’t want to play for Arsenal should leave. But that doesn’t necessarily mean we should initiate a sale at the moment when all we have is a Brighton reject on loan as a replacement.

Still, as I said, it would be crass stupidity to want him sold – so you wanting him sold comes as no surprise to me whatsoever.

loose_cannon

One our better players despite a difficult season. Ideally we’d give him less to do next season, by being more proactive in defence and playing more football in the opposition half than our own.

Qwaliteee

Well said. It would help if the system we played wasn’t so relentlessly focused on back passes.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

One thing is for sure. There’s no point discussing what great keepers we could replace Leno with this summer because we’re only a midtable team.

We don’t get to buy the top players any more. We have nothing of a sporting nature to offer them next season, with only a so-so chance that we might offer them a shot at winning something, anything, in the next two or three years.

We may need to hold back on selling too may of our young players as we are likely to be promoting them to the ranks next season.

Biggles

Rather bleak but it’s true that we’re not a great attraction at present, particularly if there’s no European football. Players, particularly in Europe, aren’t too interested in domestic cups. I know the FA Cup is famous here but I doubt most players on the continent could name the holders even if pushed. I wouldn’t think that the League Cup (in whatever form) registers at all. Only the league and, of course, the CL are the two that really count.

Twatsloch

Premier League most definitely. The FA Cup is legendary so us continentals know and rate it too. The Cucaraca Cup? Not at all. It’s a load of bollocks.

Biggles

Glad to hear that the jolly old FA Cup is still popular amongst you continentals – and don’t forget that we here in this little island, this precious stone set in the silver sea, invented football, along with everything else.

Qwaliteee

The League Cup. That ‘load of bollocks’ as you call it, kick started this club after an eight year trophy drought and helped sow the seeds of our first title win in eighteen years. In addition, winning the Littlewoods Cup (as it was known in 1987) not only gave George Graham his first trophy and a base for the titles of ‘89 and ‘91, it more or less was the birth of ‘modern Arsenal.’ Putting Spurs to bed on the semi final replay at WHL firmly turned the North London tide in our favour – and gave us a special… Read more »

Qwaliteee

Which is why, despite a recent blunder or two, it would be sheer folly to sell him.

Twatsloch

Cue a million bore offs yapping about Martinez.

Biggles

Who? Oh, Martinez. Now you mention him … .

Twatsloch

Should never have sold him. If he was still here we’d be top of everything. You hear me? EVERYTHING!!!

Biggles

I hear you, I hear you. (Nurse, nurse over here please).

Qwaliteee

🤣👍🍺

Santori

This will be a potential issue. We will be prey to Bigger clubs without European football. Too many people prefer to indulge in wank job dreaming we will revamp the entire squad buy fantasy players when not in europe. This goes for pundits. We will more likely be picked apart if we are not careful. Part of that issue will be player’s faith in current regime and manager. Sure people may clamour to sell say Bellerin or Laca but they kid themselves that we will bring in equivalent quality in some areas. At least with Bellerin, Chambers of course is… Read more »

Ipal Taka

We’re on course to achieve our best defensive record since the 2015/16 season (when we finished 2nd overall), we’re currently the team with the 3rd best defensive record in the league behind city and chelski, despite playing with about 25 different defensive variations, some of them including midfielders as left-backs. And yet somehow some people conclude that our goalkeeper is one of the most pressing issues with this team? Resources are clearly limited at Arsenal at the moment, and we have massive problems in attack, so i’d much rather spend money there or on a potential upgrade for Xhaka (who… Read more »

LEFT08

Why are we still debating Leno? He is going nowhere because pretty much every other position on the pitch is way more problematic for us.

Qwaliteee

My sentiments exactly.

I thought that the fact that we sold Emi Martinez meant that Leno’s name was more or less cemented in the position. Yet less than 12 months on, here we are……typical.

For those wanting to get out the pitchforks, might I suggest the following Motley Crew…..

Willian
Ceballos
Xhaka
Luiz
Cedric

Take those five Frank Spencers out of the equation and our cock up rate for this season is rendered almost non existent.

Gunner08

Mate I know you don’t want to go. Unfortunately I want you to go because I just think we can have a better goalie than you. That might be beneath you though, just like richarlison’s goal (or should I say cross) went beneath you.

Kostas

Leno is an amazing goalkeeper and one of our least problems!

However he doesnt sound like he is gonna sign another contract. Which is an adverse event of our performances.

Good luck replacing him.

Disarmed Gunner

Leno’s comments are like his goalkeeping skills: Erratic and inconsistent with a lack of commitment.

loveugunners

on the Leno martinez debate, Leno has conceded less goals behind a chopping and changing back four unlike Emi whos pretty muchplayed with same defenders all year. leno no the problem…….lack of goalscorers is imo

Andrea

Arsenal sold the wrong keeper