Mikel Arteta may have finally got the competition he wanted regarding Arsenal’s goalkeeping position.
After Ramsdale kept a clean sheet in his Arsenal League debut, his manager refused to acknowledge who was his number 1.
The hope is having a rival for his spot will bring out the best in Leno with the team being the long-term beneficiaries.
This was what our boss wanted after he won the FA Cup but instead Martinez gave him an ultimatum.
It’s easy to be wise after the event and say we should have given the Argentine guarantees, but in reality, no top coach makes such promises.
That left us with Leno who, due to an injury or the realisation that his employers were considering someone else for his job (or both), confidence has never been quite the same.
I never rated the German like some other gooners who would describe him as one of the best GK in the country. In reality he was making too many errors that were leading to goals.
At first this was blamed on Emery whose tactics saw the 29-year-old face 20-30 shots per game.
Under a new regime though he has continued to make mistakes to be the person to take us back to our previous level. His gaffes led to Chelsea, Everton, Leicester and Burnley all winning at the Emirates.
His kicking cost us goals in Vienna and at Turf Moor.
In drubbings at Anfield and the Etihad he was beaten at his near post.
This season already he’s conceded at Brentford from a throw-in and could have done better for Man City’s first goal.
To me his biggest gaffe remains Olympiakos when he was in possession with seconds remaining as we defended an aggregate lead. Instead of kicking the ball up the pitch he panicked and conceded a corner. That was the moment I knew he didn’t have the mentality to play for us.
The moment he played a game with huge pressure, he melted.
All of this in the knowledge that he couldn’t be dropped, because Runnarson was not prepared for this stage (which someone should have lost their job over).
Maybe Leno will be better because of Ramsdale’s arrival? Maybe he will focus more now he knows he has to fight for his place.
You sense though that Ramsdale has the baton and would have to do something wrong first for Leno to be ahead of him.
23m (rising to 30 million) is a lot to pay for someone to sit on your bench.
It’s more likely that Arsenal are preparing for life after Leno which for once shows organisation from the club.
Most reports suggest contract negotiations have not begun, but only because the player has indicated he would like a move.
It’s believed Inter Milan’s interest has turned his head, but this current version of Leno wouldn’t be good enough for the Champions of Italy.
I like for once Arsenal have shown some ruthlessness, and let’s hope it’s a sign of things to come.
For years we have been dictated to by average talent.
Leno isn’t a player we should be begging to stay.
He’s not a player we should be paying over the odds to entice him into a new deal.
With 2 years left on his contract, we have taken control. We haven’t let him run down his contract and then worry about a replacement. We got a target that clearly the club has been scouting for a while and now Leno has a choice.
Improve to get back into the team to put himself in the shop window ,or sit in the dugout and drop further down the pecking order for Germany, with a World Cup just over a year away.
Arteta promised on his first day that anyone who doesn’t want to share his values can leave. Leno needs Arsenal more than Arsenal needs Leno.
To be a big club you think like a big club. A big club doesn’t worry about an average keeper wanting to move.
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