Bernd Leno hits out at Arsenal ‘politics’ which led to summer exit


    Fulham FC v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League
    Bernd Leno has swapped north for west London after joining Fulham this summer (Picture: Getty Images)

    Bernd Leno says it was politics which led to him leaving Arsenal for Fulham this summer, believing he was not dropped from the first team due to his performances.

    The German goalkeeper left the Emirates after four years with the club over the summer, moving across London to join the newly-promoted side for a fee of around £8m.

    Leno had spent his first three seasons at Arsenal as the starting goalkeeper, but lost his place in the first team when Aaron Ramsdale arrived from Sheffield United at the start of the 2021/22 campaign.

    The 30-year-old made just eight appearances in all competitions over last season and understandably moved on to find more first team opportunities elsewhere over the summer, with the Qatar World Cup approaching fast.

    However, the former Bayer Leverkusen man feels somewhat slighted by his Arsenal exit, believing that it was not down to poor performances that he was out of the Gunners team, but politics at the club.

    ‘When I realised that it wasn’t about performance or quality, I knew that I had to go,’ Leno told Sport BILD.

    ‘In preparation, I saw that it is not about performance, but only about politics. It was clear to me: I had to get out of here.’

    Manchester City v Arsenal FC - Premier League
    Leno fell out of first team contention under Arteta (Picture: Getty Images)

    Leno certainly seemed delighted to move on earlier this summer, becoming first choice at Fulham, where he has already started four Premier League games this season.

    On moving to Craven Cottage, he said: ‘It feels amazing to finally be here. I can’t wait to join the team, to train and play with the team.

    ‘I’m relieved that everything is done. I’m just happy to be here. It took a little bit of time but in the end we made it, and that’s the most important thing.’

    MORE : Alexandre Lacazette ‘kept on telling’ Folarin Balogun to leave Arsenal last season

    MORE : Jamie Carragher reveals ‘advantage’ Manchester United and Spurs have over Arsenal in top four race

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