Former Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno recently offered fans some insight into the controversial circumstances under which his move to Fulham came about. He strongly asserted that athletic prowess, talent and performance were not the criteria under which goalkeepers were judged at the Emirates Stadium.
Leno declared that there was a lot of politics that went down behind closed doors, which eventually forced him to call time on his professional career with Arsenal and seek employment elsewhere, leading him to Marco Silva’s doorstep.
The move to the newly promoted side marked the end of a four-year-long relationship with Arsenal, in a deal that was worth around £8m. The first three years of his tenure with Arsenal saw him enjoy a tremendous amount of play, which was drastically reduced after Aaron Ramsdale was brought in.
In fact, he merely made eight appearances across all competitions, forcing him to take drastic measures and move to a club where he would receive more first-team experience. He asserted that the decision to pick Ramsdale over him was influenced tremendously by the politics that goes on in a club.
“When I realised that it wasn’t about performance or quality, I knew I had to go. During the preparation, I saw that it’s not about performance, it’s just about politics. It was clear to me: I have to get out of here,” said Ramsdale while in conversation with Sport BILD.
Leno, undoubtedly feeling slighted by the way Arsenal treated him, asserted that he was extremely excited at the prospect of playing at a club like Fulham.”It feels amazing to finally be here.
“I can’t wait to join the team, to train and play with the team. I’m relieved that everything is done. I’m just happy to be here. It took a little bit of time but in the end we made it, and that’s the most important thing.”