Arteta delivers verdict on Arsenal's win over Tottenham
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Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno has slammed Mikel Arteta for giving ‘no clear reason’ behind his decision to identify Aaron Ramsdale as the club’s new first-choice stopper. Leno was dropped from the Gunners side that faced Norwich City earlier this month and is yet to regain his place between the sticks.
The German keeper has played the vast majority of games for Arsenal since joining the club from Bayer Leverkusen back in 2017.
However, he now finds himself being forced to settle for a spot on the bench, with Ramsdale getting the nod in recent weeks.
The former Sheffield United man impressed on his debut with a clean sheet against West Bromwich Albion in the Carabao Cup and was selected to start against Norwich as a welcome reward for his efforts.
He went on to turn plenty of heads with his shot-stopping ability and impressive distribution, helping Arsenal to register their first Premier League win of the season at Carrow Road.
Ramsdale’s introduction has coincided with a run of much-improved form, with the Gunners having taken maximum points from five of their last six outings in all competitions.
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However, Leno has since blasted Arteta over his handling of the situation, with the 29-year-old claiming that he is yet to be told the reason why he is no longer a sure-fire starter.
He suggested to Sport Bild that Arteta’s decision may have been influenced by the uncertainty surrounding his future as he nears the end of his current contract.
“There was no clear reason why I was out, but it had nothing to do with my performance,” explained Leno.
“He is the trainer, he decides. Of course, it’s difficult for me.”
Leno will be a free agent at the end of the season as things stand and is reportedly no closer to signing a new contract at Arsenal.
He will be able to negotiate with foreign clubs from January in order to agree personal terms before joining them ahead of next season.
Inter Milan are reportedly keen to secure Leno’s services on a free transfer and the Arsenal stopper has admitted that he will consider a move to the San Siro if his situation is not quickly rectified.
“London is very nice, Milan is not bad either and closer to my home Stuttgart,” added Leno.
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“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.”
It remains to be seen whether Leno can eventually be convinced to stay at Arsenal and play second fiddle to Ramsdale, who has barely put a foot wrong since coming into the side.
The latter seems likely to feature once again at the Amex Stadium on Saturday evening as the Gunners travel to face Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League.
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