Arsenal news: Six captaincy candidates if Laurent Koscielny leaves this summer

21 Jun

Arsenal may be set for a big overhaul this summer as they need to sell to improve their transfer budget, which is reportedly just £40million.

It means a number of fan favourites could even be set for the exit door and one such player is Laurent Koscielny.

Laurent Koscielny in action for Arsenal
Getty Images

The Gunners’ French defender has been a mainstay during his nine seasons at the Emirates and developed into a true superstar having signed from Ligue 1 side Lorient for an initial £8.45million, despite not being a household name at the time.

He has become a leader for Arsenal and was a trusted lieutenant of ex-boss Arsene Wenger, earning the captaincy in 2016.

Now he may be set to leave the club as they seek to rejuvenate all areas of the squad.

But who would take on the captain’s armband should he leave? The Daily Star believe it could be Granit Xhaka having missed out on a move to Atletico Madrid.

talkSPORT.com assesses the candidates.

Granit Xhaka

The Gunners midfielder is now unlikely to leave the Emirates having previously been courted by Atletico Madrid.

His three years with the club as a starter stand him in good stead as does his no nonsense personality, along with the fact he’s already vice-captain along with Mesut Ozil.

The main problem with naming Xhaka as captain is that he’s someone who could find himself replaced next summer as the club continue to rebuild.

Xhaka is a Swiss international
Getty Images

Sokratis Papastathopoulos

The Greek centre-back, 31, has got a wealth of experience having spent five seasons with Borussia Dortmund prior to last summer’s Emirates switch.

He’s a leader in the backline and has dealt with numerous superstar team-mates in his time, which will help with the Gunners, especially as youngsters like Matteo Guendouzi rise to prominence.

Papastathopoulos has been handed the armband before, becoming AEK Athens’ youngster ever captain, aged 19, in 2008.

Papastathopoulos has a wealth of experience to offer in the role

Alexandre Lacazette

It might come as a surprise but the French striker is now 28-years-old and is 12 games shy of a century of matches at the Emirates in his two seasons.

This year he’s become a truly key player with his clinical finishing seeing him notch 19 goals in 49 appearances across all competitions, while he seems to have bought into the club’s philosophy quite extensively.

His form has earned interest from Barcelona and handing Lacazette the captaincy could keep those wolves from the door and ensure they retain at least one of their superstar strikers.

Lacazette could be a wildcard captain
Getty Images

Nacho Monreal

Set for one last season at the top with the Gunners, Monreal has been a real rock for the club since he joined from Malaga in 2013.

He’s definitely got the credentials as a leader in the squad and the fact he’s an exemplary professional help his case too.

Like Xhaka, though, Monreal isn’t likely to remain with the club for much longer and it might not make too much sense in the long term, or just look like a sentimental appointment given his lengthy service.

Monreal has been a huge success at the Emirats
Getty Images

Bernd Leno

The German shot-stopper is a superb diplomat and won the adoration of Arsenal fans last summer with his comments upon joining the club.

Leno worked his way past Petr Cech early last year and has now established himself as the No.1 at the Emirates.

He’s set to be their goalkeeper in the long-term and handing him the captaincy offers him excellent chance for growth as a leader and should keep the Gunners in safe hands.

Could Leno be the long-term successor to Koscielny>
Getty Images

Hector Bellerin

Some supporters might not be massive fans of what the Spaniard gets up to in his time off but the the player’s commitment to Arsenal is undeniable.

He joined the club as a teenager but considers himself a real Gunner and it’s always been said he conducts himself superbly in training.

Branded ‘independent and driven’ the 24-year-old has still got his best years ahead of him and could ply them at the Emirates as captain.

Bellerin saw last season ended early by a knee injury
Getty Images

Arsenal transfer news: Goalkeeper target Markus Schubert ‘rejects’ Gunners in favour of Schalke move

19 Jun

Arsenal target Markus Schubert is reportedly set to join Schalke.

Last week, reports claimed the 21-year-old Dynamo Dresden goalkeeper’s arrival at the Emirates was ‘imminent’.

Markus Schubert is a Germany Under-21 international
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However, according to the Daily Mail, the Dynamo Dresden star has opted for a move to Bundesliga club Schalke.

Arsenal boss Unai Emery is on the lookout for a goalkeeper to challenge no.1 Bernd Leno following Petr Cech’s retirement.

Germany Under-21 international Schubert is expected to be Schalke keeper Alexander Nubel’s deputy in the Bundesliga.

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But Nubel has been linked with a move to Bayern Munich, which could open the door for Schubert to stake a claim for a starting place.

The transfer blow for Arsenal could see Emiliano Martinez become the club’s back-up goalkeeper next season.

The 26-year-old Spaniard has spent the last two seasons on loan with Getafe and then Reading.

He joined the Royals in January and made 18 appearances to help the club preserve their Championship status.

Martinez has made just six Premier League appearances since joining Arsenal in 2010.

Arsenal should drop Petr Cech for Bernd Leno in Europa League final against Chelsea, says David Seaman

22 May

David Seaman believes Arsenal should drop Petr Cech for the Europa League final against Chelsea, amid reports the veteran goalkeeper will return to Stamford Bridge this summer.

Cech, who made over 400 appearances in 11 seasons for the Blues, has described the Arsenal vs Chelsea final as the ‘perfect end’ to his playing career, having confirmed earlier this season he will hang up his gloves this summer.

Petr Cech will retire at the end of the season after a glittering career in the Premier League
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The 37-year-old has played the majority of the Gunners’ European games this season, despite Bernd Leno taking his place as the club’s regular number one this term.

But it is unclear is he will keep his place for the final in Baku, with manager Unai Emery keeping his options open ahead of the all-English European clash.

Recent rumours that Cech will move back to London rivals Chelsea this summer to become their new sporting director have also cast doubt on his place in the side for the final.

And club legend Seaman insists the Gunners must field their strongest possible XI against the Blues, meaning Leno should start the game.

Leno has become Arsenal’s No.1 following his arrival last summer
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He told Wednesday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast: “I know Cech has played all the games but in a final like that, especially against Chelsea…

“Arsenal need to win this game to get into the Champions League. It’s a huge game and worth millions to the club.

“So, for me, you play your strongest team and if that means Leno plays then that’s what I would do.

“I know Arsene Wenger did it with me. Richard Wright played all the FA Cup games and then played me in the final.”

Premier League players with most errors leading to goals this season include stars from Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham

29 Apr

David De Gea was under more pressure following another mistake leading to a goal on Sunday against Chelsea.

He should have done better with Antonio Rudiger’s shot than palmed it into the path of Marcos Alonso, who scored to make it 1-1.

David De Gea made a costly error against Chelsea

The Manchester United goalkeeper has made three errors leading to goals in four games, in all competitions.

His three previous errors came in 129 appearances and there have even been calls for him to be dropped.

The 28-year-old was at fault for a Barcelona goal as they were dumped out of the Champions League.

He then should have done better with a Leroy Sane shot in the Manchester derby last week as they were beaten 2-0.

De Gea’s mistake proved costly

De Gea has not made the most errors leading to goals, though, in the Premier League this season.

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson has even made more than the United stopper.

Here are the players with the most errors leading to goals in the Premier League.

=7. Granit Xhaka (Arsenal) – 2

Granit Xhaka has made two errors for Arsenal leading to goals this season

=7. Kieran Trippier (Tottenham) – 2

Kieran Trippier is Tottenham’s only player on the list

=7. James Tomkins (Crystal Palace) – 2

James Tomkins has made 29 Premier League appearances for Palace this season

=7. Jean Michael Seri (Fulham) – 2

Jean Michael Seri was relegated with Fulham this season

=7. Sergio Rico (Fulham) – 2

Sergio Rico has been on loan at Fulham from Sevilla

=7. Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle) – 2

Jamaal Lascelles is one of two Newcastle players to feature

=7. Ben Hamer (Huddersfield) – 2

Ben Hamer has made just seven appearances for Huddersfield this season

=7. Bruno Ecuele Manga (Cardiff) – 2

Bruno Ecuele Manga battles for the ball with Shane Long

=7. Lewis Dunk (Brighton) – 2

Lewis Dunk has been a key member of the Brighton defence

=7. David De Gea (Manchester United) – 2

David De Gea has come under fire for his performances
Getty

=7. Charlie Daniels (Bournemouth) – 2

Charlie Daniels is facing six months out because of a knee injury

=7. Harry Arter (Cardiff City) – 2

Harry Arter is one of three Cardiff players to make two or more errors leading to goals

=7. Cedric Soares (Southampton) – 2

Cedric Soares has since gone out on loan to Inter Milan

=3. Alisson (Liverpool) – 3

Alisson has kept 18 Premier League clean sheets this season but made three errors leading to goals

=3. Bernd Leno (Arsenal) – 3

Bernd Leno won the starting position from Petr Cech

=3. Martin Dubravka (Newcastle) – 3

Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka has made three errors leading to goals

=3. Sol Bamba (Cardiff) – 3

Sol Bamba is part of the Premier League’s third worst defence this season

2. Jordan Pickford (Everton) – 4

Jordan Pickford has been under pressure at Everton this season

1. Asmir Begovic (Bournemouth) – 5

Asmir Begovic has the most errors leading to goals this season

The Premier League players who have made the most errors leading to goals including Pickford, Alisson and Trippier

14 Mar

Gareth Southgate’s admission that Jordan Pickford is still England’s No.1 certainly raised a few eyebrows.

The Three Lions boss named his squad to face Montenegro and the Czech Republic on Wednesday and declared Pickford is still the main man between the sticks.

Origi capitalised on Jordan Pickford’s error in the Merseyside derby in December

Not only is Burnley shot-stopper Tom Heaton in terrific form, but the Toffees star has made a rather unfortunate habit of making costly errors this season.

In Russia, the 25-year-old became something of a cult hero with his performances for the national side.

His penalty save in the shootout against Colombia and a series of gravity-defying stops against Sweden captured the imagination – even inspiring Ross Kemp to take his short off and film a number of questionable videos….

But his mistakes in the big games are beginning to cost Marco Silva’s men and the fact his position in the national team seems secure is surprising, to say the least.

Kieran Trippier missed a penalty in the 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace in the FA Cup

Pickford is not the only Englishman to struggle after an incredible summer, with Kieran Trippier failing to replicate his form from Russia for Tottenham Hotspur.

But who has been the most error-prone player this season according to official Premier League statistics?

Scroll down to see the top 15 players who have made errors leading to goals.

Kieran Tripper (Tottenham Hotspur) – 2

Kieran Trippier even had his Wikipiedia page changed after an own goal against Chelsea

Jean Michael Seri (Fulham) – 2

Seri was once courted by Barcelona and Arsenal, but that is hard to believe now

Sergio Rico (Fulham) – 2

The shot-stopper has been woeful for the Whites

Alisson Becker (Liverpool) – 2

The Brazilian No.1 opted against joining Chelsea in the summer

Ben Hamer (Huddersfield Town) – 2

Hamer is not even the Terriers’ first choice keeper…

Bruno Ecuele Manga (Cardiff City) – 2

The centre back is powerful and aggressive in his style of play

Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion) – 2

Dunk has not made it back into Southgate’s England squad

David De Gea (Manchester United) – 2

De Gea is normally assured between the sticks for the Red Devils

Charlie Daniels (AFC Bournemouth) – 2

The left-back is one of the first names on Eddie Howe’s team sheets

Harry Arter (Cardiff City) – 2

Arter is on loan from Bournemouth this season

Bernd Leno (Arsenal) – 3

The German has struggled at times in his first season in English football

Martin Dubravka (Newcastle United) – 3

The goalkeeper allowed this shot from Heung-Min Son to pass through his body

Asmir Begovic (AFC Bournemouth) – 3

The former Chelsea keeper has endured an error-strewn season

Sol Bamba (Cardiff City) – 3

The Ivory Coast international will not play again this season

Jordan Pickford (Everton) – 4

Pickford has made the most errors leading to goals in the Premier League this season

Arsenal news: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a masked super hero celebration planned against Manchester United

12 Mar

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is ready to wheel out his super human goal celebration.

The Arsenal striker, who has previously donned a Batman mask to celebrate a goal for Borussia Dortmund against Schalke in 2015, had planned to show off his flamboyant side against Manchester United.

Aubameyang and Marco Reus as Batman and Robin in 2015

However, after tucking away his penalty in the 2-0 win, he was left stumped.

“I had a special celebration planned but I couldn’t find my mask,” he explained.

“I asked a member of the staff to put it in the back of the net but when I scored the penalty I couldn’t find it.

“But no worries. Maybe next time.”

Aubameyang had a special celebration planned if he scored against Man United, but couldn’t find his mask

Arsenal are next in action on Thursday night when the Premier League side host Rennes in their Europa League last 16 second leg tie.

Aubameyang’s penalty for the season took his tally to 19 in all competitions and will have been relieved to beat David de Gea from 12 yards considering Hugo Lloris saved his previous spot-kick in the north London derby.

“I watched my miss against Tottenham a lot. I knew that I made a mistake but I felt confident on Sunday and everybody said I would score this time.

“After Alexandre Lacazette got the penalty, he threw the ball to me and said, ‘You have to shoot’. And I was ready to score.”

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United beat Arsenal 3-1 in the FA Cup in January which saw Jesse Lingard perform the moonwalk in celebration of a first-half goal and later described the Emirates as a ‘dance floor’ in a social media post, which Mesut Ozil had a cheeky dig about after the game.

Arsenal goalkeeper said players remember things like that. “In your mind you will never forget something like that, when somebody is celebrating.
“You don’t want to see it again so we were motivated and we knew before the game about our chance because United had one more point than us. Now we have two points [between the teams] and that was enough motivation for us.”

The Gunners are now fourth with Champions League qualification a real prospect.

“We had two great games against Tottenham and Manchester United and now we feel it’s in our hands,” Aubameyang added.

“We know that it will be tough but we are really hungry to get back into the Champions League.

“That’s been our goal since the beginning of the season and we know that we have two ways to achieve it — with the Europa League — but the Premier League is the first and most important way.”

Arsenal transfer news: Gunners signings under Sven Mislintat assessed, including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Lucas Torreira, and Unai Emery

23 Jan

Sven Mislintat’s departure from Arsenal has come as a shock as the turbulence behind the scenes at the club comes to the surface.

The German will officially leave on February 8, 2019 just over a year after being made head of recruitment at the club.

Arsenal plucked Mislintat from Borussia Dortmund

Arsenal said in a statement Mislintat “has done a truly outstanding job in helping us recruit players who are making a big impact now and will do so even more in the future.”

The Gunners have made eight signings since the 46-year-old has been at the Emirates and this got us thinking – how good have they actually been?

Below you can see talkSPORT.com’s review of how Arsenal’s eight newest signings have done so far and what the future is likely to hold for them.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 8/10

It’s been almost a year since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joined Arsenal and he’s been good so far.

He’s a world-class forward, scoring 24 goals in 36 Premier League appearances and always looks a threat, especially when playing alongside fellow striker Alexandre Lacazette but manager Unai Emery is often reluctant to play two strikers in a game.

Aubameyang, 29, has a few good years left in him and the only concern for Arsenal may be that bigger clubs could pursue the Gabon international if the team doesn’t progress. For now though, his future at the Emirates looks very secure.

Aubameyang moved from Dortmund for £56million

Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 5/10

Another January 2018 recruit, Henrikh Mkhitaryan was part of the swap deal that saw Alexis Sanchez move to Manchester United.

The Armenian has hardly set the world alight at Arsenal but he’s had much more of a positive impact than Sanchez has at Old Trafford.

Injury has held Mkhitaryan back a bit but Gooners will be hoping he can improve after his latest setback – a foot injury sustained in December.

At the moment it looks like Arsenal got the better deal but not by much

Konstantinos Mavropanos – 5/10

The 21-year-old has made just three appearances for Arsenal since signing over a year ago but a lot of this is due to injury.

Konstantinos Mavropanos picked up a groin strain at the start of the season and only returned to training this month.

However, he’s viewed as a long-term investment and could even get his chance to impress soon with injuries to Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Nacho Monreal’s leaving their defensive resources depleted.

The Greek was signed for £2.2million – peanuts in today’s market.

Lucas Torreira – 9/10

It’s between Aubameyang and Lucas Torreira as Mislintat’s best recruit but the Uruguayan edges it because he was a player that Arsenal desperately needed.

Torreira is a tough-tackling defensive midfielder, who breaks up the play of the opposition well and has given Arsenal the steel they have lacked in the middle of the park for so long.

He’s popular with the fans because he’s a player who wears his heart on his sleeve too. This was in full flow when he scored during Arsenal’s fantastic comeback win over north London rivals Tottenham in December.

Torreira celebrates his goal against Spurs

Torreira was injured briefly during the Christmas period which coincided with a downturn in form for the Gunners, illustrating just how important he is. They can’t afford to lose him.

Bernd Leno – 6/10

Bernd Leno started out as Emery’s No.2 goalkeeper but the German got his chance to impress in late September and hasn’t looked back since.

He’s not the perfect goalkeeper but is an improvement on an ageing Petr Cech, who is retiring at the end of the season.

Leno came on for Cech during Arsenal’s 2-0 victory over Watford in September

Cech’s retirement also suggests Leno will be viewed as the first choice keeper for many seasons to come.

Stephan Lichtsteiner – 4/10

The Swiss veteran joined on a free transfer from Juventus in the summer but has struggled to replicate the same form as he did in Turin, so far.

Whether that’s because the players he’s around are not as good or if, at 35, the years are catching up on him but Lichtsteiner has been distinctly average.

Lichtsteiner’s contract with Arsenal expires in the summer

The right-back only signed a one-year deal last summer and he probably wouldn’t be missed that much but we could see him figure a lot more after Hector Bellerin was ruled out for the rest of the season.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos – 5/10

Sokratis Papasthathopolous joined in the summer from Borussia Dortmund for £18million and has been decent value for the fee.

The Greek has shown good leadership in some games – working well with Laurent Koscielny to keep Eden Hazard quiet last weekend during their victory over Chelsea.

Hazard was kept at arms length last weekend

But there have also been some disastrous defensive performances from Arsenal this season including a 5-1 defeat at Liverpool in December.

Sokratis should stick around for a few more years but if Arsenal are serious about challenging for league titles in future then they’ll have to recruit someone a bit better than the 30-year-old.

Matteo Guendouzi – 6/10

This score might be a bit harsh as Matteo Guendouzi has shown he has talent in some games but the Frenchman hasn’t done it consistently enough at present.

Guendouzi could be a player Arsenal struggle to keep hold of in the future

The Gunners signed Guendouzi in the summer from French club Lorient and at 19, he is definitely viewed as one for the future.

He’s made 20 out of a possible 23 appearances in the Premier League for the club which is an impressive haul for a player who’s still developing.

Unai Emery – 7/10

When Arsene Wenger said goodbye to Arsenal after 22 years at the club, whoever succeeded the Frenchman was going to be the most important piece of recruitment under Mislintat.

Wenger waved goodbye to Arsenal in May 2018 after 22 years in charge

And generally, Emery has been a success. He guided Arsenal to a 22-game unbeaten run in all competitions earlier this season. The fixtures were generally quite kind to them but it’s still a noteworthy achievement.

However, with the departures of Mislintat, chief executive Ivan Gazidis and director of football Raul Sanllehi all in quick succession, the circus upstairs could prevent the Spaniard from restoring Arsenal as a team that regularly makes the top four.

Emery has made a good start as Arsenal boss

Kepa Arrizabalaga vs Alisson Becker vs Bernd Leno – who has been the best Premier League goalkeeper summer signing?

16 Nov

The summer transfer window saw three of the so-called ‘Big Six’ Premier League teams splash out big money on new goalkeepers.

Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal spent a combined total of £157.9million on bringing Kepa Arrizabalaga, Alisson Becker and Bernd Leno to England.

An unprecedented amount of money was spent on goalkeepers in the Premier League in the summer

Alisson’s £67m transfer to Merseyside in July was a record fee for a glovesman, only for that to be surpassed a matter of weeks later when Kepa completed his move to Stamford Bridge for a whopping £71.6m.

Meanwhile, Leno joined Arsenal for the cheapest price of £19.3m – still a sizeable amount for a goalkeeper.

So how have the trio performed at their respective clubs?

talkSPORT has gathered the evidence to see whether Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal have acquired duds or studs.

STATS

Clean sheets

  • Kepa:          9 in 16 games
  • Alisson:          8 in 16 games
  • Leno:              3 in 9 games

Goals conceded

  • Kepa:          9
  • Alisson:          10
  • Leno:              8

These stats certainly suggest Kepa is performing the best. He has kept one more clean sheet than Alisson and has played the same number of games as the Reds stopper.

Kepa has also conceded fewer goals than Alisson. Leno only has three clean sheets to his name but has played fewer games.

However, if the German is to keep going at the same rate then his clean sheet rate and goals conceded rate will be worse than both Kepa and Alisson’s.

MISTAKES

When a goalkeeper makes a mistake, it’s likely to directly lead to a goal. Therefore, an ability to not make any errors is the mark of a great keeper.

Again, Kepa comes out on top with only one slight mistake so far – letting Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s long-range shot squirm under his hands during Chelsea’s 3-2 victory over Arsenal.

Leno has only made one small error which led to James Milner striking a loose ball home during the Gunners’ 1-1 draw at home to Liverpool earlier this month.

The error count does not look too kindly on Alisson, however, with mistakes against Arsenal and Red Star Belgrade leading to goals.

Alisson’s arrival has not put an end to the mistakes in Liverpool’s goalmouth

He also conceded an embarrassing goal during the Reds’ 2-1 win away to Leicester in September. Fortunately for him, it did not cost his side any points.


Has Alisson improved Liverpool?


IMPORTANCE TO TEAM

Kepa was a very important recruit following the departure of Thibaut Courtois but to label him as one of Chelsea’s key players would be a stretch.

Should Kepa ever get injured, the Blues have Willy Caballero ready to step in. Losing the likes of Eden Hazard, N’Golo Kante, Jorginho or Cesar Azpilicueta would be much more of a concern for Maurizio Sarri.

Leno arguably has similar importance to the Gunners fold as Kepa has too. He was needed to gradually replace an ageing Petr Cech but Leno’s absence would not be a disaster for Arsenal.

Leno came on for Cech during Arsenal’s 2-0 victory over Watford at the end of September

His level of importance will rise if he can continue to impress though.

Alisson is vital to Liverpool, however. Despite his tendency to commit sloppy mistakes, his presence has restored some order from the dark days of Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius being the No.1.

Liverpool’s defence appears to be more relaxed with Alisson behind them too.

VERDICT

It’s clear the stats look better on Kepa but these do not always paint a full picture of how he’s performed.

Kepa has made fewer mistakes and has the best stats

He has more clean sheets than Alisson but as Chelsea are playing in the Europa League and Liverpool are playing in the Champions League, Alisson has generally played against a higher standard of opponent so far.

Alisson has made more mistakes than the three keepers but it’s clear there is more of a reliance on him at Liverpool than there is for Kepa and Leno at Chelsea and Arsenal respectively.

We’ll have a better idea of how much Leno copes when he faces more top teams later in the campaign but it seems Kepa has generally been the better keeper but Alisson is more important to his team’s set-up than the other two.

Alisson’s all-round game makes him the most important keeper

Arsenal news: Petr Cech will struggle to get ahead of Bernd Leno, believes Gunners legend David Seaman

31 Oct

Petr Cech will struggle to get back into the Arsenal first XI after Bernd Leno’s impressive run in the team, believes Gunners legend David Seaman.

Cech is available to manager Unai Emery again after four weeks on the sidelines with with a hamstring problem.

The veteran glovesman, 36, pulled up during a Premier League clash against Watford after he took a goal kick, and was replaced by Leno.

It gave the £22million summer signing his first real chance to impress in an Arsenal shirt and the German – ten years Cech’s junior – has not looked back since.

Leno has proven a capable goalkeeper for the Gunners since replacing the injured Cech

While Cech initially struggled with Emery’s new ‘play it out from the back’ style, Leno has done well and he was selected ahead of the former Chelsea man for Arsenal’s game against Crystal Palace at the weekend, which ended in a 2-2 draw.

And Seaman believes 26-year-old Leno is now firmly the number one at the Emirates, saying that only a series of poor performances will let Cech back into the frame.

Listen to David Seaman’s comments on Wednesday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast IN FULL above!

Crystal Palace 2-2 Arsenal: Gunners player ratings after Premier League draw at Selhurst Park

28 Oct

There was no record-breaking twelfth straight victory for Arsenal as they were pegged back to a 2-2 draw away atCrystal Palace.

Two penalties from Luka Milivojevic either side of strikes from Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ensured the spoils were shared in an intense Premier League encounter.

This is the first time since August Arsenal have failed to win a game

But how did the Arsenal players perform at Palace? Below you can see talkSPORT.com’s player ratings for Unai Emery’s men.

Bernd Leno – 6

He’ll be disappointed with conceding two goals but Leno looked very assured throughout the game and could not have done a great deal about both penalties as they were well placed by Milivojevic.

Hector Bellerin – 5

Missed a glorious chance to give Arsenal the lead early in the game but wanted too much time on the ball. Replaced at half-time by Stephan Lichtsteiner with an injury.

Shkodran Mustafi – 3

Gave away a needless penalty on the stroke of half-time which put Arsenal behind and ultimately contributed to his side failing to win the game.

Arsenal fans tear into Mustafi for giving away penalty

Gooners may have preferred the man on the right in the team instead of Mustafi

Rob Holding – 6

He was no where near as bad as his centre-half partner but Holding sometimes struggled when the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Max Meyer got on the ball in the second-half.

Granit Xhaka – 7

Xhaka was once again being used in a make-shift left-back role but the Switzerland international acquitted himself well. A brilliant free-kick brought Arsenal back into the contest and Xhaka was very unlucky to be penalised for fouling Zaha for Palace’s second penalty.

Xhaka celebrates his second-half goal

Lucas Torreira – 5

Emery will be disappointed Palace got as much joy going forward as they did considering Arsenal were playing two defensive midfielders. Not Torreira’s best game for the Gunners.

Matteo Guendouzi – 6

The youngster had a few nice moments and picked up a yellow card to break up a threatening Palace attack at the end but along with Torreira could have had more control of the game as the home side looked for their equaliser.

Alex Iwobi – 5

Iwobi was not as effective as he has been this season and didn’t offer a great deal to his side going forward.

Mesut Ozil – 6

A decent display from Ozil even if his work wasn’t always noticed. However, when taken off midway through the second-half, the German was visibly upset and appeared to snub a handshake with his manager.

Ozil was not in the game as much as he would have liked

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 7

Aubameyang struggled to get into the game at points but was alert enough to get a goal in the second-half which almost got his side the three points and a record-breaking win.

Alexandre Lacazette – 6

Missed a very good chance to give his side the lead in the first-half and was very lucky to avoid being penalised for a crafty handball in the lead up to Aubameyang’s goal.

Lacazette will rue his missed chance in the first-half

SUB – Stephan Lichtsteiner – 6

The full-back came on for Bellerin at half-time and helped give Arsenal that extra oomph at first but struggled to deal with the likes of Meyer and Zaha later in the second-half.

SUB – Danny Welbeck – 4

Welback rather surprisingly came on for Ozil and really struggled to get in touch with the speed and intensity of the game.

SUB – Aaron Ramsey – N/A

Failed to do anything of note in his brief time on the pitch. Ramsey’s Arsenal future looks increasingly ominous.