Mikel Arteta laments Xhaka injury blow for Arsenal
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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has hit back at Bernd Leno after the goalkeeper claimed “no clear reason” had been given for his recent demotion. Leno is unhappy with the Gunners boss after losing his place as No 1 goalkeeper to new arrival Aaron Ramsdale.
Ramsdale has played in each of the last three Premier League matches since completing his £24million move from Sheffield United.
Arsenal have won all of those fixtures, which included last weekend’s triumphant 3-1 victory over bitter rivals Tottenham.
While a much-improved defence has meant fewer saves to make for Ramsdale, the 23-year-old has still impressed with his new team.
However, his arrival has not gone down well with Leno, who had been the club’s first-choice goalkeeper for the past three seasons.
Leno took the decision to speak to the German media following the derby win, claiming Arteta had not explained why he had been dropped to the bench.
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Yet Arteta has issued a firm rebuttal ahead of Saturday’s trip to face Brighton in the Premier League.
“I had a very clear conversation with him 48 hours before I was going to make the decision,” he said.
“Obviously any conversation I have with him is completely private and I’m not going to speak with any media about it.”
When asked what he expects to see from Leno, Arteta added: “The same that he’s done every single day.
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“Train the way he does, be the way he is, the person he is, the way he handles himself, and try to help the other keepers and the other keepers try to help him.”
Leno is sure to be on the bench once again in today’s 5.30pm kick-off on the south coast.
And it seems the 29-year-old could take matters into his own hands and look for a transfer away from the club in the January transfer window if things don’t change.
“There was no clear reason why I was out, but it had nothing to do with my performance,” he told Bild.
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“He is the trainer, he decides. Of course, it’s difficult for me.
“’Only if nothing changes in my situation by winter would I have to think about things: what option do I have, how can I continue? I’m concentrating on my work in training; I can’t commit to anything else at the moment.”
He added: “London is very nice; Milan is not bad either and closer to my home Stuttgart,
“I’m not seriously thinking about that yet. I feel comfortable at Arsenal and in London.”
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