Bernd Leno’s game time for this season cannot be guaranteed stated Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta because he does not want to rotate his goalkeeper. In the summer transfer window, the Gunners signed former Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale. And for the first time in the Premier League football match on Saturday the England international replaced Leno in the starting lineup, keeping a clean sheet as Arsenal defeated Norwich 1-0 at the Emirates.
That was the 23-year-old’s second shutout in as many appearances for the club, following a 6-0 EFL Cup thrashing of West Bromwich Albion in August. Arteta has been impressed by Ramsdale and the manager has indicated that he is not in a hurry to reintroduce 29-year-old Leno to the Arsenal starting XI unless he merits it.
According to Sky Sports football news, the Spaniard said ahead of the trip to Burnley on Saturday, while speaking in his pre-match press conference: “We have to change something and Aaron has come here to try to make us better. We needed a result on that day and I decided to play him.”
“I said to the goalkeepers in the last two or three years, that we don’t want to do that [rotate]. What we want to do is empower performance and ask them to train, behave and play the best possible way. How can I guarantee somebody something? It wouldn’t make sense with what we are demanding them to do. So it is on a daily basis — what you did three months ago in football, it doesn’t count. So, it is what you’re going to do today and tomorrow, and that’s it.”
Arteta also moved to deny that Leno had reacted to being dropped against Norwich, adding: “Obviously for Bernd, it wasn’t a pleasing communication when I told him that he wasn’t playing. But he’s a top professional and a top person. He should be disappointed and he should support his teammates as they all have with him every time he’s played. That’s exactly what he’s done.”