Bernd Leno was dropped by Mikel Arteta after Arsenal’s miserable start to the season and Aaron Ramsdale quickly reasserted himself as the Gunners’ No. 1 goalkeeper
The 30-year-old started his fourth season at the Emirates as No. 1 after the Gunners lost their first three First League Playing and conceding nine goals, Arteta handed over the gloves aaron ramsdale, re-signed by Sheffield United for 24 million pounds. Leno has since been limited to just five appearances perfect Ramsdale grabbed him and watched from the bench while Arsenal climbed the ranks Champions League Dispute.
“It was a setback and a bitter moment,” said the Germany international spox, about Goal. “But this is sport, you have to accept it. It wasn’t easy, but I couldn’t feel sorry for myself, I wanted to attack again immediately. I don’t want to say that I was a pawn, but if the results aren’t right, sometimes it works fast in football.
“The coach wanted to set a new impulse – and then that [improved] results came. That was bitter for me because I had kept up well before. I had never experienced anything like this in my career. But I looked ahead. My ambition is to always play, I know what I can do. I’m not 20 anymore where I could say, ‘I still have time’.”
While Leno has accepted the decision, he was initially frustrated with Arteta. “In the end he said the results weren’t right and he wanted to bring in new players. And if the results are good, then of course it’s logical that you don’t change that much in a well-established team.” Bayer Leverkusen star explained.
“It was clearly communicated to me that it had nothing to do with my performance and was therefore difficult to accept at first. I had always played well in previous years and was rarely injured. This hits you hard. But like I said, there’s no need to feel sorry for yourself. You have to look ahead and keep working on yourself. I did this.”
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However, Arteta still appreciates his No. 2 and the Gunners boss has praised his attitude after their tough battle 1-0 win at the AstonVilla last month, Leno’s first Premier League outing since the start of the 5-0 hammering at the Manchester City in August. “He was in control, emotionally he was prepared and I’m really happy for him,” Arteta said after the game, with Ramsdale out with an injury he has now recovered from ahead of the Arsenal clash Brighton on Saturday.
“Obviously it’s been a tough few months for him because he’s always played in his career but he’s stayed there, Aaron has been here to support him and it’s great to see those things. His reaction was very good, he accepted the role, it’s very difficult not to accept it but to relax with it, just try to push and improve in every area and that’s what we want from our players. “
With only one year left on his contract, Leno has been advised to start a fresh start in the coming year summer transfer window, but his priority is to stay in north London and re-establish himself as a first-choice stopper. “You can’t rule anything out anyway,” he said.
“I’m 30 years old, so you might think that, despite ambition and impatience, you might be a little more relaxed about a topic like this. Of course, there are always approaches. But this is about gaming. That’s my first ambition. If the club plans something else, they have to come to me. Of course, my agency and I are keeping an eye on the situation.”
A return to Leverkusen was also touted, although Leno admitted: “I read that too, but I don’t know anything about it. They also said I would definitely want to return to my homeland, but that’s not true. As I said, we feel completely at home here, even if I’m not doing so well at the moment.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/bernd-leno-arsenal-mikel-arteta-26669201 Bernd Leno admits he was 'bitter' after being sidelined by Mikel Arteta at Arsenal