The German goalkeeper has opened up on his frustration over a lack of regular minutes at the start of the 2021-22 campaign
Bernd Leno has admitted he could seek a January transfer after losing his spot as Arsenal No 1 to Aaron Ramsdale, while claiming Mikel Arteta has given him “no clear reason” for his decision.
Arsenal spent £24 million ($32m) to bring Ramsdale to Emirates Stadium from Sheffield United in August as Arteta sought to add greater depth to his goalkeeping ranks.
The 23-year-old hasn’t been content to accept a backup role, quickly forcing his way into the Gunners manager’s starting XI ahead of Leno who is now considering his future in north London.
What has been said?
The German shot-stopper says he is in the dark as to why he is no longer first choice, and is growing more frustrated.
“There was no clear reason why I was out, but it had nothing to do with my performance,” Leno told Sport Bild. “He is the trainer, he decides. Of course, it’s difficult for me.”
Italian champions Inter are reportedly keeping a close eye on the 29-year-old’s situation, and he concedes a switch to Serie A might appeal so he can be closer to his family.
Leno is determined to turn his fortunes at Arsenal around, but has warned he will have to assess his options if nothing has changed by the time the January window opens.
“London is very nice; Milan is not bad either and closer to my home Stuttgart,” he added. “I’m not seriously thinking about that yet. I feel comfortable at Arsenal and in London.
“Only if nothing changes in my situation by winter would I have to think about things: what option do I have, how can I continue? I’m concentrating on my work in training; I can’t commit to anything else at the moment.”
How has Ramsdale usurped Leno?
Arteta stuck with Leno for the first three Premier League games of the season, but he failed to cover himself in glory as Arsenal lost 2-0 against Brentford and Chelsea before being routed 5-0 by Manchester City.
Ramsdale was handed his top-flight debut for the Gunners in their next outing against Norwich, and impressed during the 1-0 victory as they recorded their first clean sheet of the campaign.
The England international followed that with another shoutout as Arsenal beat Burnley by the same scoreline before getting the nod for their north London derby clash Tottenham last weekend.
Ramsdale shone once again to help Arteta’s men secure a 3-1 win, and he will likely be in net when the Gunners travel to Brighton on Saturday.