Bernd Leno is a German professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Premier League club Arsenal and the German national team. On 19 June 2018, Premier League club Arsenal announced that Leno had signed a five-year contract, £22.5 million, pending ‘the completion of regulatory processes’.
The goalkeeper played a full 90 minutes against Lazio on Saturday – keeping a clean sheet in a 2-0 win – and is competing with Petr Cech and Emi Martinez for a starting role against Manchester City. Whoever gets the nod for the Premier League opener, Leno is genuinely happy with life at his new club.
“It’s very good, I’m so proud to be part of Arsenal,” he told Arsenal.com. “The team is very nice, the coaching is very good and it’s fun to be here. “It’s like a family, we have big players, big personalities but I think the atmosphere is brilliant. I’m a little bit surprised [by how good it is], it’s very good for me to come to a team as a new player and the team make it very easy.
“I am satisfied [with the Lazio game], I think the team showed a good performance and the defence was very good as well. We won the game but the most important thing was the performance and that was very good.
“I think we are very close to being at 100 per cent. It was exciting to be in Singapore, then on Wednesday we had a difficult game, and today again, but now we can relax a bit and on Tuesday we will focus on the game on Sunday and prepare for Man City.”
Leno thrilled to compete with Cech
Bernd Leno was just 19 when he made his Champions League debut for Bayer Leverkusen in 2011 – and it just so happens that it was Petr Cech in the opposite goal to him.
Fast forward seven years and the pair are both at Arsenal, and our German goalkeeper says he can learn a lot from his new team-mate.
“I can remember my first game, when I was 19, in the Champions League and it was against Petr and Chelsea in 2011,” Leno said. “After the game, he said to me that it was a good game for me and he was pleased for me and excited for me. It was seven years ago and now we are together at Arsenal – it’s crazy!
“Of course Petr has a lot of experience and played many games. I have a lot of experience too, but he has much more, so I can learn from him. “Petr has had a big career, he’s won many trophies and is still a big goalkeeper and a big personality. But I have to look at myself, and work hard every day to be the first choice of the coach.”
On 10 August 2011, he was loaned out to Bayer 04 Leverkusen until 31 December 2011. Four days after the five months loan deal was signed, Leno made his Bundesliga debut against SV Werder Bremen. He became after Dirk Krüssenberg and Heribert Macherey the third goalkeeper in Bundesliga history to keep a clean sheet in his first three Bundesliga games.When he played on 13 September 2011, at the age of 19 years and 193 days, against Chelsea in the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League group stage he became the youngest German goalkeeper to ever to play in a Champions Leaguematch.
The transfer was made permanent on 30 November 2011, when Leno received a deal that keeps him with Bayer until 2017. Leno became a regular in the first team and after a string of impressive performances, on 8 November 2013, he signed an improved contract to keep him at the club until 2018. He made his 300th competitive appearance for Leverkusen on 14 April 2018 in a 4–1 league win over Eintracht Frankfurt.