Bernd Leno will be desperate to secure an exit from Arsenal after falling down the pecking order at the Emirates claims ex-striker Alan Smith.
In a recent interview, as reported by Metro, former Arsenal striker Alan Smith claimed that Bernd Leno will be desperate to leave the Gunners in the January transfer window after becoming the second-choice goalkeeper at the Emirates Stadium.
Leno has been with Arsenal for over three years now, having first signed in 2018 from Bayer Leverkusen. For most of his time with the north London side, the 29-year-old had been the preferred option in goal. However, that has changed this season, with the Gunners bringing in Aaron Ramsdale in the summer.
The England international has taken over as the first-choice custodian since his switch from Sheffield United. He has justified Mikel Arteta’s decision with some stunning saves and crucial performances for Arsenal in the ongoing campaign. As a result, Leno has been restricted to just five appearances across all competitions this term, with his last game in the Premier League coming in August.
Given the situation, the German international has been linked with an exit from the Emirates ahead of the January transfer window. And, ex-Arsenal hitman Alan Smith has claimed that Leno’s predicament is understandable considering that he is a top-quality goalkeeper, and it should not come as a surprise if he seeks an exit in the winter.
“He’ll be down,” said Smith. “He’ll be desperate to leave the club. He is an experienced keeper. He won’t want to be a number two for any longer than he needs to be. But he can’t go knocking on the manager’s door because Ramsdale has done so well. He is a big personality and he has pulled off some great saves. For Bernd Leno, there will be plenty of clubs after him, if he becomes a man available.”
Leno had previously expressed his disappointment over being relegated to the bench by manager Arteta. With things clearly not improving, an exit could certainly be on the cards for the ex-Bayer Leverkusen ace.
Arsenal, too, could go ahead and decide to cash in on the 29-year-old, considering that his contract expires in 2023, meaning he would be entering the final year of his deal in the summer next year.