The future of Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno appears to be less certain amid rumours that the Gunners No 1 is looking for a new challenge in the summer. According to Football London, nothing is certain for the German shot-stopper, but he would be ‘open to everything’ as no fresh talks over his contract have begun.
Leno has made a series of errors recently but for the previous two seasons, he was one of the most consistent players for the North London side. However, his form has dipped and a series of howlers including an embarrassing nutmeg and a near post lapse has raised questions on his ability to help Arsenal challenge for top honours.
At 29 years of age and with Arsenal on the brink of a summer rebuild, Bernd Leno may feel it’s time to move on to fulfill his personal ambitions. The most recent valuation has the German at £22.5m and that would help find a decent replacement, but the Gunners may have to add some cash to get their man.
There are some goalkeepers capable of filling Leno’s boots including Burnley’s Nick Pope (29), but the overwhelming choice of many is the much-fancied Gianluigi Donnarumma (22) of AC Milan, but he will certainly cost at least £54m. That’s the stuff of dreams.
Leno, when asked recently about his future, said:
“I know I still have a two-year contract left and I am also 29.”
“For a goalkeeper, this is not too old, I still have some years to go. I am very happy at the club. I don’t know what will come in the future, but I am open to everything.”
“For a new adventure or to stay at Arsenal.”
“Like I said, I don’t think about my future because two years is a long time.”
The fact that Arsenal could be without Champions League football could tip the balance for Bernd Leno as he assesses his options and for Mikel Arteta, the summer transfer window may be busier than even he imagined if Leno hands in a transfer request.
Of course, Arsenal could hold on to Mat Ryan who has certainly seized each opportunity but they will need to add at least one upcoming goalkeeper and perhaps, Aaron Ramsdale (22) has the potential to become the future No 1. He hasn’t had the best season with relegated Sheffield United but his individual performances have shown that despite having a dreadful defence in front of him, it could have been far worse without him.
If Arsenal are serious about competing in all competitions, then they have to start at the back in the summer and a solid goalkeeper would be a priority.