Date:26th July 2022 at 7:00pm
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Arsenal‘s Bernd Leno is close to completing a move to Premier League new boys Fulham after reportedly saying his goodbyes on Monday.

THE LOWDOWN: LENO USURPED

As a goalkeeper with so much promise, Bernd Leno moved to Arsenal from Bayern Leverkusen in 2018.  Upon his arrival, he had to battle former Chelsea star Petr Čech for a starting berth in then Arsenal manager Unai Emery’s starting XI. It was an injury to Čech against Watford that handed him the opportunity to make his debut for the Gunners.

Arsenal fans had to wait until the 2019/20 season to see the German impress in their colours and he was named the runner-up in the Gunners’ player of the season award. He was firmly the team’s number one at the time and had Emiliano Martinez as his deputy. The Argentine impressed in the FA Cup triumph and demanded to be named as number one, but as guarantees were not made he left for Aston Villa.

Leno’s time as number one ended when Arsenal signed emerging talent Aaron Ramsdale from relegated Sheffield United. He was expected to understudy Leno, but after a bad start to the league which saw Mikel Arteta’s side ship in five goals at Manchester City, the German was dropped for the Englishman.

Ramsdale’s big, bold and loud character was one of the major reasons Arteta settled for him ahead of an introverted Leno.

THE LATEST: WEST LONDON MOVE

Arteta mooted the idea of a new goalkeeper about a year ago and Leno was listed as one of the possible departures from the side but it never happened. After the German was relegated to cup competitions last term – making just eight appearances in all competitions – Leno leaving the side was just a matter of time. If that was not enough, the signing of American goalkeeper Matt Turner from MLS side New England Revolution in February was the final nail in the coffin.

Now, a report has it that there has been an agreement between both Fulham and Arsenal for the transfer of Leno to Craven Cottage. This comes after weeks of negotiations between the two Premier League clubs, where Arsenal seemed not pleased with Fulham’s valuation of the player.

THE VERDICT: ARSENAL CAN MOVE ON

There is no justifiable reason to keep a player that wants to leave the club. Leno has served the Gunners for four years and does not look like someone who will be part of the future. The 30-year-old might be leaving for a cheap fee, but this move helps free up the squad a bit, something Arteta wants at this time.

Matt Turner is set to be Ramsdale’s deputy and barring any serious injury to the Englishman, the American is not expected to feature in the Premier League and possibly the Europa League for Arteta’s side.

Reports also say Arsenal are not done in the transfer market, which means more quality signings could still be made as well as expected exists before the transfer window is over.