Monday, March 6, 2023

Leno breaks silence on Arsenal's title race after quashing bad blood with Gunners

Bernd Leno insisted there was no bad blood after his Arsenal departure as he backed the Gunners to lift the Premier League title.

Germany goalkeeper Leno left Emirates Stadium on unwanted terms after suggesting “politics” influenced his departure and subsequent move to Fulham ahead of this season.

Those comments took Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta by surprise as Leno seemed to point the finger at his former employers after the end of his four-year stay in north London.

Aaron Ramsdale appeared the preferred option and has helped Arsenal to a five-point lead at the Premier League summit, with Leno putting past grievances behind him to support the Gunners’ title charge.

“I don’t have toxic [feelings] or bad energy for Arsenal,” the 31-year-old Standard Sport. “It didn’t end in the perfect way, but my reception at the Emirates was really good.

“I get fans coming up to me saying, ‘thank you for your four years… you were very good’.

“I was really happy with my performances. Even when they dropped me, I did nothing wrong. I came through the front door and I left through the front door. I still have a connection to the club.”

 

When pressed on Arsenal’s bid to hold off a title pursuit by Manchester City, Leno added: “I hope they do it, I think they can.”

Fulham sit seventh in the Premier League after Monday’s 3-2 defeat at Brentford as Marco Silva’s side challenge for an unlikely European qualification.

While Leno missed out on Germany selection for the World Cup in Qatar, he eyes a return to the international fold as he continues to impress at Craven Cottage.

“I didn’t go to the World Cup because I didn’t play at Arsenal and then the World Cup was in November,” he added.

“I can accept that. But, hopefully, in March, in the summer, or maybe next season, I can go back. That is a target for me.”

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