Bernd Leno - Reaction from Germany as Bayer Leverkusen fans bid farewell to their ‘outstanding’ goalkeeper
PUBLISHED: 20:58 19 June 2018 | UPDATED: 21:03 19 June 2018
Read German football expert and Arsenal writer Rosie Tudball on the German reaction to Bernd Leno’s departure from Bundelsiga side Bayer Leverkusen.
Shockwaves are being felt around Bayer Leverkusan fans after it has been announced Arsenal signed the highly-rated goalkeeper Leno.
The fee for the German shot stopper is believed to be around £20m, a price regarded as ‘insulting’ by Bayer Leverkusen fan Thomus Markus.
The lifelong season ticket holder told the Islington Gazette of his club’s lack of fight to extract a bigger sum from Arsenal.
“We have essentially sold our best player to a potential European rival for free. It is something that perhaps we would expect from Arsenal, it is frustrating to sell Leno for a low price.”
When considering Leno’s contribution to Leverkusen over his seven year stay in the passionate football region of North Rhine-Westphalia, it is understandable of the frustrations that fans have towards his departure.
It’s difficult to sum up the talent of a goalkeeper trading in the Bundesliga for the Premier League, however one statistic stands out when regarding Leno – only Manuel Neuer has kept more clean sheets over the last four seasons in Germany’s top division.
Leno has saved nine penalties during his Bundesliga career, more than any other netminder including Neuer.
“Leno has been truly outstanding for us, and it has been great to see him grow into the player he is today since he first joined us. I believe he can go even further”, added Thomus.
There’s an infamous swagger surrounding German goalkeepers, the 26-year-old’s agility and willingness to provide the trademark ‘sweeper keeper’ duties are characteristics that stand out.
Arsenal can look forward to years of service from Leno in his prime with Leverkusen supporters posting on a Facebook fan page to say goodbye to their young veteran.
“A farewell after seven years together hurts, you gave everything to our club for seven years. I must thank you, you have saved our backs many times,” one fan posted.
When speaking with Thomus Markus and his father Stahn, it was clear to us just how appreciated Leno was.
“In football we celebrate goals, but I can remember when we hosted Schalke in the season that has just passed, Leno saved a chipped shot, and it had us on our feet as if it was a Champions League final penalty save. That stop won save of the season I believe, I am not surprised!”
Leno’s arrival will be the first time in a long while Arsenal fans have eagerly anticipated the arrival of a top-class goalkeeper.
Follow Arsenal writer and German football expert Rosie on Twitter @RosieTudba11.