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"There was no clear reason why I've been dropped": Bernd Leno slams Mikel Arteta and questions his own future at Arsenal

Leno
(Image credit: Getty)

Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno has questioned manager Mikel Arteta's decision to drop him for Aaron Ramsdale and admitted he could leave the club this January over it.

German stopper Leno was brought into the club in 2019 as Petr Cech's successor during Unai Emery's tenure at the club. Arteta has shown faith in his no.1, keeping him at the club despite a challenge from longterm no.2 Emi Martinez, who was later sold to Aston Villa.

But with Arsenal spending over £20m on Sheffield United's Aaron Ramsdale over the summer, Leno's future has been thrown into question - especially with the 23-year-old Englishman now usurping the German in the pecking order. 

“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."

Inter Milan are said to be interested in the Gunners goalie, who says that a Serie A transfer might appeal so he can be closer to his family.

“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.”

Leno impressed early on at Arsenal and was key towards the end of Emery's time at the club.

The German seemed to have his momentum stopped when he injured by Neal Maupay against Brighton back in lockdown in 2020. Martinez came in for the custodian and was hugely influential in the Gunners winning the FA Cup, Community Shield and finishing the season strongly.

Leno has since underwhelmed in goal for Arsenal with poor decision-making and issues with shot-stopping. Last season, he turned a shot against Everton at home into his own net, throwing a spotlight on how error-prone he can be, while against Wolves away from home, he was sent off for handling the ball outside the area. 

The 29-year-old is third-choice goalkeeper for the German national side behind Manuel Neuer and Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.