Arsenal’s German international goalkeeper Bernd Leno will get a chance over the next few games to prove that he is good enough to be the Gunners first-choice number one on a permanent basis.
Leno came on as a first half substitute for the injured Petr Cech last time out in a 2-0 win over Watford at the Emirates Stadium. It was the Germans Premier League debut after joining from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer.
Cech sidelined until after international break
Ironically, Cech had produced arguably his best display of the campaign in the previous game against Everton. However, the experienced Czech will be sidelined for two to three weeks, which will mean that he will miss Thursday night’s game against Qarabag and also Sunday’s trip to Fulham. That means the former Chelsea star will not feature for the Gunners until after the international break.
Leno has been waiting for his chance
Leno looked set to go straight into the Arsenal starting line-up after his summer arrival. The 26-year-old fitted new boss Unai Emery’s style of playing out from the back, whilst that has never been one of Cech’s strengths.
However, Cech retained his place in the team in the Premier League, while Leno’s only appearances came in the Europa League and the Carabao Cup.
The Germany international now has the chance to stake a claim for the number one spot in north London. He has previously talked about being happy to be patient and wait for his chance in the starting line-up.
Well, his time has come. It is now up to him if he can take the chance with both hands or whether Cech returns to the starting line-up after the international break.
Arsenal should record a comfortable win at Qarabag
Arsenal are big favourites to beat Qarabag on Thursday night. In fact, the Gunners are odds of 9/20 to win in Azerbaijan. Emery’s side should record a comfortable victory against the minnows.
However, Qarabag have a recent history of producing decent display against big opposition, so the Gunners cannot be complacent.
Leno will be hoping to impress in Azerbaijan, although I doubt he will be hoping to have a busy night. If he produces steady performances in the next few games, then Cech will find it hard to get back into the team.
If he struggles, then there will be massive question marks over whether can be Arsenal’s number one in the long-term.
Will Bernd Leno take his chance to become Arsenal number one?