“I Will Always Be Number 1”- Leno

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Arsenal goalkeeper, Bernd Leno, has revealed he never feared loosing his place as first choice because the club had already given him assurances.

Arsenal were forced to choose between Leno and Emiliano Martinez for the first choice goalkeeper role earlier on in the season. 

Martinez had taken advantage of Leno’s injury last season to stake a claim to the post with a string of brilliant performances that culminated in him helping Arsenal to the FA cup and community shield trophies.

However when Leno came back, Arsenal backed him for the first choice spot.

This meant Martinez had to move to Aston Villa as he could not accept a second-choice role. 

Sticking with Leno looked like the right choice after the German produced a magnificent performance against Liverpool on Thursday night during the Carabao cup fourth round tie. 

He stopped everything Liverpool threw at him and then denied Divock Origi and Harry Wilson during the penalty shoot-out, allowing Joe Willock to score the decisive spot-kick and send Arsenal through.

“I’ve never feared it,” Leno said to Sky Sports after the game, when asked if there had been a moment where he thought he might lose the No.1 spot at Arsenal.

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“The club always gave me the feeling that I was No.1, I am the No.1 and I will be the No.1. That was always very good from the club.

“My job is to prove it every week. I think I’ve done it again.”

Arteta also did not appear to regret the decision to stick with Leno. The Spaniard explained that Martinez’s sale made sense for both the player and the club. 

“We had two fantastic goalkeepers that were both performing really well,” said Arteta following Thursday night’s victory at Anfield. 

“Bernd before he had the injury and Emi when he came on.

“But we had to make a decision. I think it was a moment when Emi needed [to take] the next step and financially it was a really interesting proposal for us and we need to manage the resources that we have to strengthen the team.

“I am really happy for him (Leno), for his performance and the character he showed.”

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When quizzed on whether Martinez’s form before his departure had added more pressure on Leno this season, Arsenal’s manager added: “I think the biggest pressure is coming from the players individually.

“Honestly, I don’t think they read that much about what other people are saying.

“Bernd’s very stable. He works, he has his routine and I don’t think he’s bothered about what’s happening outside.”


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