sport news Who comes out on top in battle for Arsenal goalkeeper role - Ramsdale, Leno or ...

sport news Who comes out on top in battle for Arsenal goalkeeper role - Ramsdale, Leno or ...
sport news Who comes out on top in battle for Arsenal goalkeeper role - Ramsdale, Leno or ...

With every shaky touch, rushed clearance and occasional howler last season from Bernd Leno, the decision to sell Emi Martinez looked worse. 

Arsenal put all their eggs in the German's basket despite Martinez coming to the fore with some brilliant performances at the end of the 2019-20 campaign, helping the Gunners win a record 14th FA Cup. 

He wanted a guarantee of first-team football but was not guaranteed it so was moved on to Aston Villa for £20million. Now, with Arsenal preparing a £30m transfer for Aaron Ramsdale, it is hard not to think this whole muddle could have been easily avoided. 

Leno will want to fight for his place and the north London club are also understood to hold an interest in Sam Johnstone.  

So, was Leno's form really that poor, would Ramsdale or Johnstone be a significant upgrade and were they wrong to let Martinez move on? 

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Bernd Leno is aghast as his blunder gifts Everton victory at the Emirates last season

Bernd Leno is aghast as his blunder gifts Everton victory at the Emirates last season

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta must decide who will play as his starting goalkeeper next season

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta must decide who will play as his starting goalkeeper next season 

BERND LENO 

Would it be premature of Arsenal to consign Leno to a No 2 role or move him on?

For two-and-a-half years he looked assured as the No 1 and his place in the team was never in doubt. 

But the final six months of last season were truly calamitous and his lack of confidence infected the defenders around him. 

They failed to keep a clean sheet between January 30 and April 15, a dire run during which Leno was directly at fault for a number of goals. 

Against West Ham in March, Leno let Jarrod Bowen's shot go easily under his body while the German failed to keep Liverpool forward Diogo Jota's header out when the effort was fired straight at him. 

Leno has been assured for much of his Arsenal career but struggled at times last season

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Leno has been assured for much of his Arsenal career but struggled at times last season

Tomas Holes' strike for Slavia Prague was heading towards his body but Leno could only parry the effort into the roof of the net in the Europa League and he allowed a calamitous own goal in against Everton that cost Arsenal the game in April. 

It was a shocking mistake and one that drew the ire of Ian Wright, who told Optus Sport: 'You look at that and it does seem very amateurish and I think that comes down to concentration. 

'He does have spells where he's very, very good. But I've seen him rush out, get sent off, give away penalties. 

'He has these moments and that for me is a real moment there. It's poor, poor, poor goalkeeping.'

Luiz consoles his keeper after he allowed Fountas to score with yet another mistake last term

Luiz consoles his keeper after he allowed Fountas to score with yet another mistake last term

So does Leno himself want to leave? This summer's comments would indicate otherwise. 

When asked about a return to Germany, he said: 'Not yet, because I really like it in the Premier League and at Arsenal. Personally, I also think it's great in London.

'My wife feels good, everything fits.

'Arsenal are a big club, which is extremely underestimated in Germany, there are many Arsenal fans all over the world. I still have a two-year contract and hope to play in the Champions League again with Arsenal.'

So how does he compare with Martinez, the man many fans wanted to be kept on? 

Leno insists he wants to stay at Arsenal and help them into the Champions League

Leno insists he wants to stay at Arsenal and help them into the Champions League

EMI MARTINEZ

It felt like a bold call for Arsenal to cut ties with the man who had filled in so impressively at the end of the 2019-20 season. 

The Argentine has since gone on to show his form for the Gunners was not just a flash in the pan. 

He is a classy operator and real presence at the back for Dean Smith's side and won plenty of plaudits last season. 

One area statistically that Martinez really stood out above not just Leno but also Ramsdale and Johnstone was the 'expected goals conceded' category. 

Emi Martinez was imperious for Aston Villa last season and the statistics back it up

Emi Martinez was imperious for Aston Villa last season and the statistics back it up 

He finished the season with a total of plus 4.72 while Leno was minus

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