The signing of German goalkeeper Bernd Leno has been officially confirmed, for a reported fee of £19.3 million. The 26-year-old joins from Bayer Leverkusen, with whom he made over 200 appearances across an impressive tenure. Now, however, it’s time for him to try something different, as he attempts to make a name for himself in the Premier League.
Arsenal have been crying out for some consistency in goal for quite some time now, and while Petr Cech will always be viewed as a legend in this game, it seems as if it’s time for him to move on. There are rumours suggesting that Leno’s arrival means the Czech keeper will likely be taking his talents elsewhere, potentially to Napoli. Many Gunners fans will be happy to see him go, but he’ll still leave a big void in the world of English football after so many years of high-quality performances.
In terms of Leno, however, Arsenal are bringing in someone who is still relatively young, has a series of great attributes, and will only continue to improve with more experience in the role. For the next few weeks, at the very least, he can learn from Cech before he eventually rides off into the sunset, before taking control of the number one spot ahead of the 2018/19 campaign.
Bringing Leno in serves as a huge sign of intent from new manager Unai Emery, who is clearly trying to make a statement regarding his willingness to fix the defensive issues at the club. It’s no secret that they’ve been struggling at the back for years upon years, and while they may have a formidable attacking line-up, it means nothing if they aren’t able to maintain consistency throughout the core of the squad.
You could argue that there’s a lot of pressure on the shoulders of Bernd Leno from the word go, but in many ways, that’s the kind of thing that goalkeepers should enjoy. Instead of fans having low expectations, they’re going to want to see results pretty quickly – which means that Leno will have to be on top of his game from the word go. As we’ve seen in the past one or two mistakes can often cost a keeper big time, so don’t be surprised to see Leno popping up in the headlines for good or bad reasons over the next few months.
Are you excited by the signing of goalkeeper Bernd Leno?