Bernd Leno is feeling more at home in north London by the day.
The Germany international has established himself as Unai Emery’s first-choice No 1 since joining the club last summer and despite a tough start to life in England, has hit his best form in recent weeks.
“It makes me proud to be Arsenal’s No 1 in the Premier League,” the 26-year-old said. “I’m happy about it. Of course, I needed a little bit of time to get used to my new team-mates, to a new country, a new league, new football.
“It’s a little bit different to Germany. Arsenal is my second professional club in my career and it was clear that it needed a little bit of time. Now that I’m settled in the club, I feel at home here and I get the confidence from my team-mates.
“Everybody accepts my personality, my quality, and that’s very important. As a goalkeeper, to have that confidence is huge, so I feel very comfortable in this team. We play in a different way and for me, and also for the players, we needed the time to trust each other to get the feeling as a defence.
“At the beginning we saw that we had problems with many things like playing from the back, defending our goal, but I think that’s normal. The manager said we need time and we needed confidence.
“Last season was not the club’s best and everybody needed the confidence. I think we improved a lot and then we had a very good unbeaten run. We’re still improving and we have to improve. Our defence is much better than three months ago because everybody is working better. It’s very important for everybody in this team.”
Copyright 2021 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.