Bayer Leverksen announced on Tuesday that goalkeeper Bernd Leno has completed a move to Arsenal:
B/R Football @brfootball
BREAKING: Bayer Leverkusen announce goalkeeper Bernd Leno has completed his move to Arsenal https://t.co/f5JnddpVNX
The Gunners reportedly agreed a fee of €22 million (£19.3 million) for the 26-year-old, according to David Ornstein at BBC Sport.
Freelance football writer Lars Pollmann offered context on the transfer fee:
Lars Pollmann @LarsPollmann
Bernd Leno is now the joint 6th most expensive goalkeeper of all time (yeah yeah inflation)
The goalkeeper is seen as the “long-term successor to Petr Cech,” per Fabrizio Romano and Ed Aarons at The Guardian.
Cech turned 36 in May and has one year left on his deal. The veteran came under scrutiny for his displays last season, as shown by WhoScored.com:
Petr Cech: Committed more errors leading to an opposition goal (6) than any other player in Europe’s top 5 leagues this season
For more player stats — https://t.co/58qVKf76gh https://t.co/OOcwIlBFOM
Manager Unai Emery told the club’s official website:
“We are very pleased that Bernd Leno will be joining us. Bernd is a goalkeeper of high quality and experience. He has been a top performer and regular number one goalkeeper with Leverkusen in the Bundesliga for the past seven years. We are all excited that Bernd has chosen Arsenal football club and look forward to start working with him in pre-season.”
Leno was part of Germany’s provisional squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup but was one of the four players omitted from Joachim Low’s final 23-man party along with Leroy Sane, Nils Petersen and Jonathan Tah.
Germany possess quality when it comes to goalkeepers with Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer, Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Paris Saint-Germain’s Kevin Trapp ahead of Leno in the pecking order.
Leno joined Stuttgart in 2014 and went on to become the club’s first-choice goalkeeper. However, he is still capable of making errors, according to football journalist Chris Williams:
Chris Williams @Chris78Williams
@JoeLIoyd @Simon53767305 @monkey_sponge He should really have ironed out his concentration errors by now, making the same type of errors he did 3 years ago.
Hush Kerai at Sky Sports News explained why he will still be welcomed at Arsenal:
Hush Kerai @HushKerai
Lots of issues raised about Bernd Leno’s deficiencies, but at this point I don’t think any Arsenal fan could bare starting the season with either Cech or Ospina between the sticks. #HeyLeno #AFC
The goalkeeper does have an excellent record when it comes to penalties, as shown by Opta:
9 – Bernd Leno saved 9 penalties in @Bundesliga_EN, no other active goalkeeper more. Support. @Arsenal @bayer04fussball https://t.co/bZ7K5zEzOn
Leno becomes Arsenal’s second signing under Emery. The club have already confirmed they have brought in Stephan Lichtsteiner from Juventus on a free transfer.
Arsenal are also expected to land Sampdoria midfielder Lucas Torreira and are hopeful of doing a deal during the World Cup, per Bruce Archer at the Daily Express.
Football writer Ben Fairthorne offered an update on Arsenal’s summer transfer business:
Ben Fairthorne @BFairthorne
As reported Leno is done. Sokratis to be announced in two weeks – as well as Torreira after The World Cup. Soyuncu is close – and Arsenal fans can still expect one more.
Bringing in a new goalkeeper looked a priority for Arsenal this summer, and they have moved quickly to sign an experienced goalkeeper who will be expected to take over from Cech next season.