Leno wants out
Bernd Leno divides opinion at the Emirates stadium. Preferred to Emiliano Martinez, who Arsenal sold to Aston Villa in the summer of 2020, the German has endured a season symbolic of Arsenal’s, difficult and disappointing.
Martinez, meanwhile, has wowed Villa fans with some brilliant performances, saving them a whopping seven goals in the process according to fb.ref.
Leno is no slouch in this department either, having saved over four goals. However, mistakes have plagued the German’s game, both with shot-stopping and distribution, most recently letting a tame Richarlison shot squirm through his body in a 1-0 defeat to Everton.
And in recent weeks it has emerged that the German shot-stopper could be considering his Arsenal future. With just two years left on his current deal, Arsenal would need to move the goalie on this summer if they wanted to recoup anything near the £25 million that they paid Bayern Leverkusen for his services.
Bernd Leno has 2 years left on his contract and there’s no indication he wants to extend. This is a golden opportunity for Arsenal to not only make some profit to re-invest, but also emerge better in the goalkeeping department in terms of quality.
— LTArsenal™ (@ltarsenal) June 1, 2021
Ajax’s Andre Onana is the man that Arsenal are thought to be targeting if they can offload Leno. According to journalist Fabrizio Romano, the club have been in talks with Onana’s representatives since January, and have expressed a very serious interest in making the move happen this summer.
– Arsenal are in direct contact wih his agents since January.
– Definitive suspension period will be key to understand Onana’s future.
– Impossible to bring Szczesny back, NO chance.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 1, 2021
Arsenal fans will be relieved to see that Onana compares favourably to Leno across most departments according to smarterscout, although he lacks some of the German’s command of his area and ability to claim crosses.
🔴 LENO v ONANA 🔴
Onana is a more active GK, taking the ball forward far more, passing more aggressively, and disrupting more opposition plays – at least in the Eredivisie.
— smarterscout (@smarterscout) June 1, 2021
One thing that Leno has been accused of by fans, however, is playing his side into danger. Onana is better with his feet, something that Arteta values highly, while the Cameroonian is still just 25 years old, meaning that he could be in between the posts for the Gunners for the best part of a decade.
Hinges on his appeal
The big drawback to Onana is that currently he cannot play football. The goalkeeper was suspended for 12 months in February 2021 for having taken banned substances, although he has appealed the decision. If, as expected, his ban is shortened or even overturned, he would become a very viable option for the Gunners.
As Arsenal correspondent Charles Watts reported last month, Onana could be available for as little as £7m due to his contract expiring in 2022.
Arsenal are interested in Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana. First contact made in January, situation is complicated by Onana’s 12-month doping ban, but his appeal in June will be key.
Full story 👇https://t.co/CNtnmdSt0q
— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) May 7, 2021
With Bernd Leno still valued at £22.5 million according to Transfermarkt, Arsenal have the opportunity to swap their first-choice goalkeepers, and make a profit in the process.