Mikel Arteta REFUSES to give guarantees Bernd Leno will return in Arsenal goal as Ramsdale looks to have taken spot

MIKEL ARTETA is refusing to give any guarantees to out-of-favour Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno.

And he dismissed reports that he has promised the German international a Premier League return for next week’s North London derby against Spurs.

Leno was shocked to be told on the eve of last week’s 1-0 home win against Norwich that new signing Aaron Ramsdale would be starting ahead of him.

And now the 29-year-old fears he could be facing a long spell on the subs’ bench following Ramsdale’s £24million arrival from Sheffield United.

Arteta admitted: “Obviously it wasn’t pleasant for Bernd to be told that he wasn’t playing but we needed to change something and Aaron has come here to try to make us better.

“We needed a result against Norwich, I decided to play Aaron and that’s it.

“It’s not true that Bernd reacted badly. He can be frustrated but he was a top professional with his team-mates and in training.

“It’s the same in every position. We want players to come in and make each other better.


“We are competing against opponents, not against each other. We are just looking to bring in players who raise the level of the player in every position.

“What I have told the goalkeepers for the last two years is that we don’t want to give anyone assurances that they will play in certain games or competitions.

“We went to empower and ask them to train and behave in the best possible way. So It wouldn’t make sense with those demands to give someone a guarantee of playing.

“In football you are judged on a daily basis. What you did three months ago doesn’t count. It’s what you’re going to do today and tomorrow.

“So I don’t know where these reports about the derby are coming from, but they are certainly ahead of me!

“I am the one who picks the team and I haven’t even made a decision for Saturday’s game against Burnley, so you can imagine the team for the North London derby has not been chosen.”

Arteta also spoke of his frustration at watching the Champions League on TV this week knowing that Arsenal are not competing in Europe for the first time since 1995.

He said: “That hurt a lot. It was painful to put on the TV and see those teams and Arsenal not being there.

“One hundred per cent that will be our motivation to get back into those competitions. We have the focus and the trigger is there.”


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