Arsenal identify new target as Leno replacement

Rex Nseobong July 4, 2021

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Arsenal identify back-up to Ramsdale

West Bromwich Albion’s Sam Johnstone is one of the names that is being considered to replace Bernd Leno at the Emirates Stadium.

According to Daily Star’s journalist Alex Wood, Arsenal will chase the 28-year-old if they fail to land their top priority in Sheffield United’s Aaron Ramsdale.

The Sheffield United man is reportedly the Gunners’ main target for the goalkeeping position this summer. However, deal for the Englishman might be ruled out if The Blades don’t lower their asking price of around £30 million.

Both goalkeepers, who the North London outfit are keeping tracks on, are full England internationals. The duo got a nod for the European Championships ahead of the likes of Burnley’s Nick Pope and Manchester United’s Dean Henderson, who were ruled out of the competition through injury.

If the Gunners pull the plug on Ramsdale, they are expected to make a move for Johnstone, who is valued at £20 million by the Baggies.

It’s clear from the goalkeeper links that Arsenal are trying to recruit a shot-stopper who ticks the box of ‘homegrown status.’

With the likes of Ainsley Maitland Niles, Reiss Nelson, Hector Bellerin, Eddie Nketiah and even Joe Willock looking likely to leave London, the Gunners will have considerably lower numbers in the homegrown department come next campaign.

Thus, it’s rational that one of the slots they are trying to secure is of a keeper.

Although Leno can be trusted with his hands, the German’s distribution and failure to command the six-yard box is the issue that technical director Edu and manager Mikel Arteta hope to address in the current shop window.

Johnstone and Ramsdale have been identified by the club who can provide what Leno can’t.

The Gunners have even been linked to Ajax’s Andre Onana. However, things are complicated because the Cameroonian won’t be able to feature in the team until the first week of November.

Two months from then, the 25-year-old will then fly off to Africa to take part in the African Cup of Nations at the start of 2022. That has instantly put off many suitors and Arsenal are believed to be one of them.

What goalkeeper would you like to see if Leno leaves? Although few reports have suggested that the German had a change of heart and is willing to stay, in my opinion, if Arsenal get a chance to replace Leno with a goalkeeper with good distribution skills and commanding presence inside the twelve-yard-box, the club should go all out!

But it’s also worth considering that the goalkeeping department should be one of our last priorities in the summer where already there is so much to do.

Yash Bisht

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