Journalist says England international will bench Leno if he joins Arsenal

Luke Hatfield from the Express and Star has reacted to Arsenal’s interest in Sam Johnstone and says the Englishman is better than Bernd Leno.

Leno won the battle for the first choice at the Emirates with Emi Martinez last season, but it seems Arsenal sold the wrong goalkeeper.

While Martinez became one of the best signings in the Premier League last season, Leno struggled with mistakes and unpredictable performance.

Arsenal has now been linked with the likes of Aaron Ramsdale and Johnstone before this transfer window closes.

Both goalkeepers impressed in the Premier League but they were relegated with Sheffield United and West Brom, respectively.

They look set to secure moves back up to Premier League clubs and Arsenal could land Johnstone.

He would probably join as a backup to Leno, but Hatfield isn’t a fan of Leno and feels the German isn’t as good as most people think he is.

He then backed England international, Johnstone to bench him at the Emirates.

He told The Transfer Tavern:

“He won’t want to be a number two, but I suppose the question is, would he be a number two at Arsenal?

“It seems now that Arsenal made a big mistake when they sold Emi Martinez to Villa because Leno is a player that I was always impressed by, but if Sam Johnstone was there last season, would he be ahead of him in the pecking order? I would say yes, Johnstone is a better keeper than Leno now. He has impressed for West Brom and at England level as well.

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Tags Sam Johnstone

22 Comments

  1. DaJuhi says:

    I thought Johnstone was the worst goalkeeper last season in the whole league.

  2. Franko says:

    I was saying it from day 1. Arsenal sold the wrong keeper. Martinez won the only medal Arteta might get in his managing carreer at Arsenal and has has helped Messi win his first senior trophy for his country. What an assured goal keeper.

    1. Johnze says:

      You were not the only one. I remember many pundits not saying it as clearly because they could not and put too much pressure on Leno but implicitly doing it like martin keown. But we found a nice replacement in runarsson. He will progress this year LOL

  3. Reggie says:

    Why oh why did Arsenal sell the best keeper we’ve had for years and keep a keeper not as good, doesn’t suit our style of football and not only making one problem, made two because we couldn’t get a decent back up. What a joke some of the transfer decisions we have made in the last two years and beyond. Why we didn’t have one single person at our club that could see Martinez was a top class keeper is beyond belief. I have very little confidence that we are going to improve on our 8th last season and the season before but i hope i am wrong.

    1. Loose Cannon says:

      we needed money to pay the wages for the then non playing “playmaker” so Edu had to dispose off his most valuable asset to balance the books i presume.

  4. IslanderG says:

    Let me join the ranks of people who say they recommended selling Mr. Leno and keeping Mr. Martinez. Emi has shown with Argentina the same skill and energy that helped Arsenal win the FA Cup. He gave Argentina the same feeling of confidence he gave Arsenal last year.

    However, I can’t exactly blame the hierarchy: at the time, I heard no-one talking about selling Leno, only about keeping Emi as a part-timer. And I honour the hierarchy’s willingness to give Emi a chance to be #1 somewhere. I only wish it had been here.

  5. zdzis says:

    “While Martinez became one of the best signings in the Premier League last season, Leno struggled with mistakes and unpredictable performance.”
    Huh. Let me just point out that a) Arsenal conceded fewer goals than Villa last season while pundits claimed that b) they had a significantly more porous defence than Villa did and c) lacked proper defensive coordination, especially early in the season. Between Christmas and end of season, Arsenal conceded all of 21 goals (2nd best in the league – by 1 goal), while Villa conceded 33.
    But yeah, let’s just say that Leno is worthless and Martinez is the best.
    Much as I appreciate Leno can sometimes be uneven, bashing him for a *handful* of errors – only one of which lost Arsenal points, and that after a horrible team performance! – is both unprofessional (for a pundit/journo) and stupid.
    You want to make a case for dropping Leno? Go ahead – collect the stats, get a proper highlights reel, discuss his positioning, distribution, communication. Then consult Luke Hatfield, cause he obviously knows more than he’s letting on.

    PS. Martinez is a decent keeper, but if Leno isn’t good enough for Arsenal, than neither Martinez nor Johnstone is.

    1. Loose Cannon says:

      what did Leno win us ? Nothing! Except for howlers here and there and dropped points! In a tight race EPL 6 points can be the difference between 4th and 6th!Hope we can con someone to hire Leno.Everton? Roma?

      1. Fat one says:

        When has Martinez saved us in a season?

        1. Johnze says:

          He did not have any chance and waited for years. When given the spot earned FACUP and community shield no ? But anyway he is gone. Probably will go to a big club in a year or two for 60m

      2. Adiva says:

        Can you please tell us how many points did Leno made us lose last season? According to epl stats, he made no error that lead to a goal.

        1. SueP says:

          That may be true but needlessly getting sent off for handling outside the box was extremely costly

        2. Bobs says:

          You must have missed the Everton match to suggest he lose us no point.

          And missed some games this season cos he co-lose us point last season as well

          1. zdzis says:

            Leno played 35 games last season, so yeah, he’s obviously crap. Lost us, what, 1 game? A game we played so bad in we 100% deserved to lose?
            And the red card – in a game we were playing with 10 after Luiz was sent off for going after the ball? And already behind at the time of the offence?
            Sure, Leno has “cost us points.” I’m pretty sure Martinez “cost Villa points” a few times. The keeper is the last line, so when the ball goes in, he’s the first to blame.
            The point still stands – Leno being crap is an impression that isn’t backed by facts. Facts like Villa conceding more than Arsenal did – or Arsenal failing to win games through lack of efficiency in attack, not bad goalkeeping. And using this impression as a basis to hype up other keepers that are demonstrably *not* better than Leno is just plain silly.

    2. SCA770 says:

      Well said. The facts are the facts; and that’s a fact!

    3. Bento Ricky says:

      Thank you for an unemotional and fact based analysis!!

  6. Kalyowa of Uganda says:

    Cant we buy Martinez back frm Villa?

  7. Staxhs says:

    Leno only cost us one game and that was against Everton and he saved us time and time in the matches against the big teams we won i.e chelshit and Manure. You all have selective memory

  8. Yossarian says:

    I disagree with all the Leno-bashing too. He’s made countless top-quality saves.

  9. Accurate says:

    Zdzis👊🙌
    Arsenal fans always allow those uncalled for pundits to judge our team like they know better than us …..The Leno and Martinez saga supposed to die down long ago but whenever Martinez had good game arsenal will always be the scapegoat…..
    Assuming iwobi sales later turn out to be a good signing for Everton Arsenal would av been In soup don’t forget Man u signed aged falcow then and didn’t work out they signed cavani now and it working for them….we signed William and things is not working yet that’s why we av been slated regarding his issue, assuming it works out Arteta and Edu might av turn genius in our face …….. Every Transfer is a gamble either positive or negative result.. untill things changed and become smooth and flowing for Arsenal, all face will be at us and we won’t be able to avoid criticism…..

  10. Ozziegunner says:

    Competition for places can only be a positive for the Club.

  11. Saalah says:

    Leno is the best keeper but you are a selfish person who don’t care about the club

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