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Wasn't a pleasing conversation to tell Bernd Leno that he wasn't playing, but he's a top professional, admits Mikel Arteta

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Arteta comments on Leno rift

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Wasn't a pleasing conversation to tell Bernd Leno that he wasn't playing, but he's a top professional, admits Mikel Arteta

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SportsCafe Desk

09/16/2021

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has squashed the reports which suggested that Bernd Leno reacted badly when informed that he was losing his starting spot to Aaron Ramsdale. The Spaniard acknowledged that the German wasn’t happy about losing his spot, but insists that he is thoroughly professional.

Arsenal struggled to establish any sort of consistency in their opening three league games, as they suffered three losses while conceding nine goals and scoring none. It was the first time in the club's 134-year history that they have lost their opening three league games without scoring a single goal. Leno started for the Gunners in the 2021-22 campaign between the sticks for the London side but conceded nine goals during their three-game opening slump.

The German international's contract at the Emirates Stadium is set to run until 2023 but speculation persists that the 29-year-old is set to run his current deal down before moving on. The English side have quickly operated in the transfer market and bought Aaron Ramsdale from Sheffield United for a reported fee of £24 million. The London side now have a long-term successor within their ranks if the German decides to depart Arsenal at the end of his current contract.

"Obviously for Bernd, it wasn't a pleasing communication when I told him he wasn't playing but he is a top professional and a top person. He should be disappointed and he should support his team-mates like they've done every time he's played, which is exactly what he's done," Arteta told reporters in his pre-match press conference.

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