Leno determined to impress for Arsenal during Cech absence: It’s a big chance for me

Bernd Leno Petr Cech Arsenal
The Germany goalkeeper is eager to make the most of his opening and admits that being eased in gently might prove a blessing in disguise

Bernd Leno is determined to seize his chance for Arsenal in the coming weeks.

The summer arrival from Bayer Leverkusen has yet to start in the Premier League, but after an injury to first-choice shot-stopper Petr Cech, the 26-year-old will get his opportunity in the matches ahead.

With the door ajar, he is eager to make the most of his opening to lay his stamp down for the club after replacing Cech as a second-half substitute in Saturday's Premier League win over Watford.

“Now Petr is injured - I don't know how long for - I have the opportunity to play more games and show the coach my quality,” he said. “It is a big chance for me.

“I don't want to say it wrong that I am happy for Petr to be injured. I think always it is a bad feeling, so I feel sorry for him.

“But, now I have more opportunities to play and I will concentrate on the games.”

Being placed on the bench for his first two months in England may be a blessing in disguise for the six-time Germany international.

“The goalkeeper is a very special position,” he explained. “It needs a little bit more time for your personality and confidence and feeling with the defence.

“I was calm and worked very hard every day. I'm happy that the coach gave me some games in the Europa League and Carabao Cup.

“He said to me: 'It's good to get a feeling for the team and also for the football, because it is different and needs a little bit of time'. The coach gave me the time.

Article continues below

“I didn't play so many games, so the two games in the Europa League and Carabao Cup were very important for me to get the confidence with the defence, get a feeling with the team, and also for the players to play from the back.”

Leno’s first Premier League start is likely to come on Sunday, when the Gunners travel to Fulham.

It is expected that Cech will miss three weeks with a hamstring injury, and with the international break looming, he may be back for the home clash with Leicester on October 22.