Bernd Leno makes plea for Arsenal to sign ‘ankle biter’

Bernd Leno wants Arsenal to become “nastier” and has claimed they may need to a sign an “ankle biter”.

It has been an underwhelming season for Arsenal in the Premier League. They looked to be on the right path when they won two trophies over the summer, but have struggled to build from there since. They are currently 10th in the table and the only way back into Europe seems to be by winning the Europa League, which isn’t a given.

Hence, the squad know their performance has not been up to standard this season. Arsenal will need to think about bringing in reinforcements if possible in the summer.

Goalkeeper Leno has come under some scrutiny himself in recent weeks. But he remains eager for Arsenal to improve.

One aspect he thinks they need to develop specifically is their toughness. As such, he has called for them to sign someone to “take out” opposition players.

“We have to be a nastier team,” Leno told Sport Bild (as quoted by the Metro). “We all get on well, but we are often too nice on the pitch.

“Perhaps we are missing a proper ankle biter, someone who can take out opponents in games.”

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The current Arsenal squad are a long way off the one that claimed the 2003-04 Premier League title as Invincibles. But Leno thinks they can try to mimic their qualities to bring better results.

“They were a team with lots of warriors, supposedly they would fight against each other every week in training,” he said of the Invincible group.

“A team needs something like that. We have to defend and fight for ourselves, we miss that. That is what separates the top teams.

“We are too nice. We have to get out of our comfort zone.

“It’s not about the 11 of us being friends, but that we are successful.”

Leno could be replaced

If Arsenal need to develop a ruthless streak on the pitch, they may have to do so off it as well by getting rid of some of their under-performers.

Leno could be one of the players at risk if they decide to take such action. A recent report claimed Mikel Arteta was unconvinced by the German and wanted to sign a replacement.

According to La Razon, Arteta wants Arsenal to sign Unai Simon from Athletic Bilbao.

West Ham have also been linked with Spain international, whom Athletic are willing to cash in on for the right price even if they would be doing so reluctantly.

Also in the chasing pack for Simon are Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund and Ligue 1 challengers Monaco.

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