German goalkeeper Bernd Leno says Arsenal players do not want to leave the club despite failure to qualify for Europe this season.
Arsenal are languishing in 9th place, and have been mediocre for large parts of the season under manager Mikel Arteta.
Bernd Leno says he is still happy with the Gunners and insists there are no other players in the dressing room who want to leave the club even though they are likely to end up qualifying for no European football for the first time in 25 years.
With the launching of the third tier of European club football – The UEFA Europa Conference League – Arsenal still have a chance to play in Europe but will be extremely disappointed to have not qualified for at least the Europa League.
Arsenal crashed out of the Europa League at the semifinal stage, losing to previous manager Unai Emery’s Villarreal last Thursday, which was pretty much their only hope of qualifying for next season’s UEFA Champions League.
Although a 3-1 win against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday provided some relief after a disappointing week, the Gunners are still four points behind arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur who are in seventh with three games remaining.
Unless Arsenal can somehow turn things around in the league miraculously, it seems like they are destined to be out of contention in European football next season. The Gunners face Chelsea on Wednesday, 12th March in a late kickoff and the odds of them succeeding and picking up the win are extremely slim.
Chelsea have looked like one of the best teams in Europe since Thomas Tuchel took over from Frank Lampard and are on course for the Champions League and FA Cup double as they brace themselves for Manchester City and Leicester City, respectively, in the final.
According to newspaper reports, Leno is supposedly going to be one of the first players to leave the Emirates as a part of a summer overhaul, but the 29-year-old insists he wants to stay and says no one else in the dressing room is pushing for a move either.
“I am still happy at Arsenal. Arsenal is still a big club, a big name in the world and in the Premier League,” he told Sky Sports, ahead of Arsenal’s visit to Stamford Bridge.
“There is nobody in the dressing room who says ‘I want to leave the club, I am not happy here anymore’.
“We still have a good environment at the club and in the dressing room. Of course, at times it was not easy this season, but this is part of football.
“It’s not good to feel sorry for ourselves, we need to move forward and change it to a positive as soon as possible.”
Leno, who joined the club from Bayer Leverkusen in 2018, is contracted with Arsenal until the summer of 2023 and it seems like he plans on seeing this out.