• News

Arteta: Leno and Martinez must fight to become Arsenal No.1

Bernd Leno, Emiliano Martinez - Arsenal
Getty Images

Mikel Arteta is delighted to have two highly-talented goalkeepers in his team and wants them to prove their worth for the starting role.

A collision with Neal Maupay in the 2-1 defeat to Brighton back in June saw Arsenal’s Bernd Leno suffer a serious knee injury.

It was later confirmed that Leno had sustained ligament damage in his right knee and would remain sidelined for the remainder of the 2019/20 season.

The German international had been one of the team’s best performers and the news of his extended absence was terrifying for the fans.

And then in came Emiliano Martinez, who had never really been handed a chance to impress prior to that despite being at the Emirates for a decade.

Martinez produced outstanding performances and played a pivotal part in the Gunners’ FA Cup success.

But his place in the starting XI next season is under threat as the original first-choice Leno has now fully recovered. Leno also started Tuesday’s pre-season friendly match against MK Dons.

However, Mikel Arteta suggests he does not have any inclination towards either of the goalkeepers and both will have to earn their place in the Arsenal line-up.

“I love to have two goalkeepers at the level of Bernd and Emi,” the club website quotes Arteta.

“But they both know that on the first day of pre-season, you start again and fight for your place and show us who is the one that deserves the chance to start.

“I don’t want to keep them both happy, I want the one that is not playing to be upset. But upset and then challenge the next player to make him better, or if not, earn his place to do that.”