Bernd Leno opens up about battle for Arsenal number one spot

The German goalkeeper discusses the battle to become Arsenal's permanent number one goalkeeper

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno Photo: Bernd Leno / Instagram

Bernd Leno says playing in Arsenal’s big Premier League games is giving the summer signing confidence, but admits his position isn’t safe with Unai Emery set to rotate his goalkeepers.

The Germany international started the season on the bench as the Spanish head coach opted to stick with 33-year-old Czech Republic international Petr Cech.

The former Chelsea FC goalkeeper was the first-choice goalkeeper for their opening seven Premier League games but the veteran was clearly struggling to adapt to Emery’s style.

Cech’s last start in the Premier League game came in 2-0 win against Watford at the Emirates Stadium at the end of September.

Arsenal are unbeaten with Leno in their goal after the German shot stopper helped the north London side to ease to two victories and two stalemates.

The 26-year-old looked a little edgy in Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with title rivals Liverpool FC at The Emirates on Saturday evening after Alexandre Lacazette cancelled out James Milner’s opener.

Leno made three saves during the stalemate, while his distribution was good after the former Bayer Leverkusen star finished with 85 per cent pass completion.

But the Germany international isn’t taking for granted his current position in the Arsenal team.

“It gives me confidence to play in big games like Saturday,” Leno is quoted as saying by London Evening Standard. “But he [Emery] pushes us because nobody is safe to play.

“Both of us will play many games this season.”

Leno was the second summer signing of the 2018 transfer window after Arsenal signed the 26-year-old in a £21m deal from Bayer Leverkusen.

Emery took over the reins from Arsene Wenger in May and the Spanish head coach opted to strengthen his goalkeeper options and send out number two David Opsina on loan to Napoli.

Arsenal haven’t won the Premier League since 2003-04 when the Gunners finished the season unbeaten under Wenger’s management.

Emery’s first challenge will be securing a top-four finish for the first time in two seasons before looking to challenge Manchester City for the title in upcoming campaigns.

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