Former Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno has hit out at the club and revealed that he didn’t leave because of his lack of performances or quality but because of the club’s politics. The German spent four years with the North London side, making 125 appearances before leaving for Fulham this summer.
While he started the 2021/22 season as Arsenal’s first-choice goalkeeper, things changed less than three games into the season as Mikel Arteta opted to put his faith in Aaron Ramsdale. Since then, the Gunners haven’t looked back with Leno becoming second-choice despite the fact that the German had arrived three years ago to be their first-choice goalkeeper. It was a decision that bemused many but Arteta has kept the faith in Ramsdale and the English international has returned that.
However, despite the promise of more football in the 2022/23 season, reports indicated that Leno had opted to leave with the German eventually departing to sign for Fulham. But in light of that, the 30-year-old has revealed that his decision to leave was because he “knew I had to go” after he realised that the decision to drop him wasn’t over performance or quality. Leno also added that the club’s politics played a part in things which is what pushed things over the line.
"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,” Leno said, reported the Daily Mail.
The 30-year-old was a fully-fledged German international when he signed for the North London side but hasn’t made the Die Mannschaft squad for nearly 12 months now. However, with a World Cup on the horizon, Leno admitted that it is his goal to get back into the team although right now his focus is “to find my rhythm again”.
“The most important thing for me is to find my rhythm again. Especially after I wasn't actually able to train properly at Arsenal and had no preparation. It's up to me to get the focus back on the national team,” he added.