After seven years at Bayer Leverkusen, Leno moved to Arsenal in 2018 for a fee of around £22.5 million. He was soon introduced into the starting XI, following the decline of regular number one Petr Cech.
He remained as the Gunners’ first-choice goalkeeper for the next three seasons, featuring 117 times from 2018/19 through to 2020/21.
However, the arrival of Aaron Ramsdale in 2021 proved to be the beginning of the end for the German. He spent last season stuck on the bench at the Emirates Stadium, featuring just eight times in all competitions.
While Leno was widely considered to be the better shot-stopper of the two, Ramsdale’s ball-playing ability and his speed off his line were perceived to be superior. This seemingly made the former Sheffield United man a more attractive prospect in manager Mikel Arteta’s system.
But the 30-year-old has come out with some explosive comments, suggesting that there were other reasons for his departure. In an interview with German publication Bild, he criticised his former club, referring to “politics” as the reason for his absence.
As quoted by Fussball Transfers, Leno said: “When I realised that it wasn’t about performance or quality, I knew I had to go.
“During the preparation, I saw that it’s not about performance, it’s just about politics. It was clear to me – I have to get out of here.”
Leno has made a bright start to life at Fulham. He has started each of the last four league matches, helping his side to victories against Brentford and Brighton and Hove Albion.
The transfer to the Whites could be key for his ambitions to feature at the World Cup in Qatar. He was last picked for the Germany national team back in November 2021 – in that time, Manuel Neuer, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Oliver Baumann and Kevin Trapp have all been given call-ups by manager Hansi Flick.
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