Shkodran Mustafi has given his backing to Bernd Leno to succeed at Arsenal this season. Leno arrived at the Emirates this summer in a £22.5 million deal from German club Bayer Leverkusen.
He is expected to challenge the veteran Petr Cech for the first-choice goalkeeping position and could possibly eventually succeed the ageing Cech as first-choice keeper.
Leno arrives at the Emirates with an impressive reputation but does tend to lack consistency. He was part of the German squad which won the 2017 Confederations Cup and played one game during the tournament which came against Australia.
He did not win selection to the 23-man German squad which was eliminated during the group stage of the 2018 World Cup.
Leno is likely to get opportunities during the duration of this season but will need to convince the Gunners hierarchy that he is better than Cech. Cech has so far started in both of Arsenal’s Premier League games (against Manchester City and Chelsea). Though he nearly scored an own goal during the game against City, the former Chelsea keeper has played well and made a number of decent saves so he certainly deserves to retain his place in the team for the upcoming fixture against West Ham this weekend.
It is however true that Cech is not the keeper that he was ten years ago during the peak of his successes with Chelsea. He has also struggled for consistency during the past two seasons. Unai Emery did a good thing by bringing in Leno as he intensifies competition for the starting goalkeeping position at the club. While David Ospina is a quality keeper, he never proved to be consistent at Premier League level.
Mustafi who has played with Leno in the German youth national team’s has backed the keeper to succeed in England.
He told Standard Sport: “I know Bernd very well because we played together since the Under-15s German team, so I have known him for a long time.
“He is a brilliant goalkeeper. He has everything a modern keeper needs: good feet, good hands and he has personality.”