Bernd Leno says Shkodran Mustafi and Mesut Özil played a big part in convincing him to join Arsenal this summer, making it ‘clear’ he had to join the club.

Leno was one of Arsenal’s bigger money transfers over the summer, with the Gunners paying around £22m to bring him to the Premier League from Bayer Leverkusen. The club really needed a goalkeeper, with Wojciech Szczesny’s departure, an unsettled David Ospina and an underperforming Petr Cech.

Sven Mislintat’s scouting team settled on Leno, Arsenal agreed a fee, so it was just about convincing the German to join. The goalkeeper says his former international teammates helped him out on that front.

“Before I made my decision I talked to Musti and Mesut about it a lot,” Leno explained. “They both said that Arsenal is a big club and that I would love it here. I talked with my brother, my parents and my girlfriend, and they were all very excited for me. It was clear that I had to sign for Arsenal.

“I’ve known Musti for about 10 or 11 years because we grew up together in the youth national teams, the under-17s through to the under-21s. I had played with Mesut for Die Mannschaft too, and I also knew Granit, Auba and Micki from the Bundesliga, so it’s funny to see us all together at Arsenal now.”

Despite the big fee showing Arsenal’s faith in the goalkeeper’s abilities, Leno had to wait for chances under Unai Emery. He’s done well since then though, keeping two clean sheets in his last three games and only conceding in the third game when completely exposed in a one-on-one.

Leno’s form has been recognised by Germany manager Joachim Low, who recalled him to the squad for the most recent international break. The national team manager previously left the goalkeeper out for the World Cup squad, so this is progress. Hopefully, that progress continues as the season goes on.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.