Picture: Arsenal assign squad number to new signing

Bernd Leno has been handed the no 19 jersey at Arsenal following the exit of Santi Cazorla.

The goalkeeper arrived here for a fee of £21m from Bayer Leverkusen and is expected to take Petr Cech’s place as the number one. Leno is a good shot-stopper – only Manuel Neuer has kept more clean sheets in the Bundesliga since the start of the 2014-15 campaign.

Equally though, he is comfortable with the ball at his feet – something that is becoming increasingly important for elite goalkeepers – and remains relatively young at 26.

The no 19 jersey is significant for Leno, as it signifies the day he signed for Arsenal – June 19. He also made his first team debut at the age of 19 for Bayer Leverkusen on loan from VFB Stuttgart.

Spanish playmaker, Cazorla wore the number with distinction for six years following his arrival from Malaga in 2012, but left the club after his contract expired. Cech has taken the number 1 jersey after moving on from 33, but his younger teammate, Leno will be looking to establish himself as the undisputed starter of the club.

Photo credit: Arsenal.com

Cech has not been his usual self in the past couple of seasons, and didn’t cover himself in too much glory last term as he made a number of high-profile errors and his reflexes may be declining.

By contrast, Leno is ready to prove his mettle in the Premier League after seven years of playing in the German topflight.

He is admired world over for his reflexes, command of his area and unflappability in the face of extreme pressure. The 6ft 3in man made 233 league appearances for Leverkusen out of a possible 238 games in 7 years, highlighting his durability and consistency; he will, we hope, bring those qualities to the Emirates Stadium.


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