Arteta - We know what we get with Leno

After three years as the virtually undisputed No. 1 at Arsenal, Bernd Leno has had to be patient this term, losing his place to Aaron Ramsdale after the first month of the season.

It's the first time that the 30-year-old Germany international has had to play the role of understudy for an extended period since making his senior debut for Bayer Leverkusen back in 2011.

But Leno reminded everybody of his qualities when he returned to Premier League action for the first time since August in our last game, away to Aston Villa, keeping a clean sheet in a crucial 1-0 win.

Speaking ahead of our trip to Selhurst Park tonight, Mikel Arteta gave credit to the goalkeeper for his attitude, and explained that having competition for places across the squad is beneficial to everyone.

"What you want to have in every position are players that are reliable and can perform, whether they've been playing recently or not," he said.

"In the goalkeeping position it's no different, that is why we bought Aaron, to get the standards higher, to bring different qualities, different ways of understanding and acting during matches, and different experiences.

"With Bernd we have the capacity to play him [on Monday] and we know what we're going to get."

Arteta added that he had sympathy for Leno having to watch the majority of the season from the sidelines, but added: "this is football, it's not an individual sport."

He continued: "When he's been playing for 10 years that meant someone has been there waiting for that opportunity. I have a lot of sympathy with every player that doesn't play and doesn't get the chances they probably deserve but unfortunately that's the game.

"He's been consistent in the way he trained, the way he behaved, in those months, waiting for the opportunity and, when he had it, to take it."

The transition from regular starter to squad player can be a difficult one to cope with for some players, and Arteta said that during his own playing days, he was as guilty as anyone of lacking patience when it came to being selected.

"Yes, when I didn't play when I was younger, you never understand the reason!" he laughed. "They can explain it to you, but you will never understand, you'll never agree to it, that's normal.

"When you're on the other side of the table [as a manager] the picture changes completely!

"When you start to get to 30, 31 and 32 it's going to happen, I guarantee it's going to happen at some stage in your career. But if it is that late, I think that's a good sign. It means you've been pretty consistent because it can happen much earlier.

"It's never easy to accept for a player that is used to doing that. Personally, another factor is environment because it's not only the player โ€“ it is his family, his father, his nan, his agent, everyone saying "why aren't you playing, I don't agree".

"It's normal because they all want the best for that player. But we want the best so if we make a decision to play somebody else it's because we believe in that moment it's better for the team to play somebody else, that's it. There is not a personal thing in that decision at all and it cannot be taken personally."

Speaking on Thursday, Arteta confirmed Ramsdale is a doubt for the Palace game. "He's still feeling not great," he confirmed. "He hasn't trained yet so we don't know what he will be able to do on Monday.

"He wanted to play against Aston Villa but it was a significant injury and he had to take his time. The physios are doing everything they can to make him available but we will see in the next few days when he starts to do more real training."

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