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Mikel Arteta clarifies Bernd Leno ‘frustrations’ and opens up on Arsenal selection headache


The Arsenal manager opted to bring Aaron Ramsdale into the starting line-up for the win over Norwich City, with Mikel Arteta offering more clarity on the ‘keeper situation

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Arteta praises fans after Arsenal win

Mikel Arteta has dismissed claims that Bernd Leno has reacted badly to coming out of the Arsenal starting XI.

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The German started the first three Premier League games of the season, conceding nine times as the Gunners failed to pick up a point.

In their most recent outing, against Norwich City at home, Aaron Ramsdale was given the nod to start the game, his first league start since signing for £24million this summer.

Ramsdale arrived from Sheffield United in order to provide additional competition to Leno and has quickly put pressure on the established No.1.

Reports emerged earlier this week that Leno was annoyed to come out of the side, with the ‘keeper shown shouting at coaches during an 11v11 match in training.

Bernd Leno dropped out of the Arsenal XI against Norwich last time out
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However, the Arsenal boss has poured cold water over claims there is any lasting frustrations, suggesting his attitude with teammates has been exemplary.

“He could be frustrated, but h e was top with his teammates in training and everything. That’s not true,” he explained.

Asked whether he had given assurances to either of his ‘keepers about starting long-term, Arteta continued: “No. That’s what I said to them and I said to the goalkeepers in the past two years.

“If we want to do is to empower performance and to get them to train and play in a certain way, how can I guarantee them anything?

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“It’s the same in every position. We want them to make each other better. We are trying to bring players that can raise the level of the position, the level of the team, the level of the club.

“Bernd should be disappointed and he should support his teammates like they all have with him. That’s exactly what he’s done.”

Arsenal face Burnley at Turf Moor this weekend, before all eyes turn towards Tottenham and the first North London Derby of the season.

Despite two games between Arteta’s side and the Spurs clash, fans are already looking at who will start in between the sticks.

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Mikel Arteta confirmed he has made no assurances to either Arsenal ‘keeper regarding the position long-term

There had been a suggestion that plans were already in place for Leno to come back in for that, something Arteta confirmed was untrue.

“I don’t know where they are coming from but they are ahead of me. I think I am the one who picks the team on the weekend.

“I haven’t made a decision on my team for Saturday or for the North London Derby.”

Leno has just one year remaining on his current contract and there has been speculation that Arsenal could cash in during the January window, else risk losing him for free at the end of the season.

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