Bernd Leno says it was politics that led to him leaving Arsenal for Fulham this summer because he believed his performances kept him from being dropped from the first-team.
The Germany goalkeeper left the Emirates after four years at the club in the summer, moving across London for a fee of around £8million to join the newly promoted side.
Leno had spent his first three seasons at Arsenal as a starting goalkeeper but lost his place in the first-team when Aaron Ramsdale joined from Sheffield United at the start of the 2021/22 season.
The 30-year-old made just eight appearances in all competitions last season and was understandably looking for more first-team opportunities over the summer as the World Cup in Qatar fast approached.
However, the ex-Bayer Leverkusen player feels a bit offended by his Arsenal departure and believes it wasn’t poor performance that made him leave the Gunners team, but rather the club’s politics.
“When I realized that it wasn’t about performance or quality, it was clear to me that I had to go,” Leno told Sport BILD.
“I saw in the preparation that it’s not about performance, it’s just about politics. It was clear to me: I have to get out of here.”
Leno certainly seemed delighted to move on earlier this summer and become first choice at Fulham, where he has already started four Premier League games this season.
On moving to Craven Cottage he said: ‘It feels great to finally be here. I can’t wait to join the team, train and play with the team.
“I’m relieved that everything is settled. I’m just happy to be here. It took a little while but we made it in the end and that’s the most important thing.”
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