Arteta denies rumours involving 23-year-old’s involvement against Spurs

Nuno Espirito Santo
Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Mikel Arteta has denied reports that he is set to reinstate Bernd Leno into the Arsenal team for the North London derby next weekend.

Tottenham and Arsenal made contrasting starts to the season, with the Lilywhites winning their first three games of the campaign and the Gunners losing their first three.

However, Arteta’s side now have all the momentum going into Sunday’s derby as they have since beaten Norwich and Burnley while Nuno Espirito Santo’s men have fallen to two successive 3-0 drubbings against Crystal Palace and Chelsea.

Arsenal head into the game at the Emirates knowing that a win will take them above Spurs in the table.

Summer signing, Aaron Ramsdale has started ahead of the experienced Leno in Arsenal’s last two games and the England shot-stopper has managed to keep two clean sheets.

However, reports indicated that Leno was expected to start in between the sticks for Sunday’s derby. When this was put to Arteta, the Arsenal boss laughed off the suggestions, insisting that he has not decided upon his starting eleven yet for the clash against Spurs.

Reacting to reports of the German goalkeeper starting against Tottenham, the Spaniard told Football 365: “I don’t know where they (reports) are coming from but they are ahead of me!

“I think I am the one who picks the team at the weekend and sometimes I read things that I haven’t decided yet.

“They give me ideas at the most, but nothing else because I haven’t made a decision for Saturday – so imagine (if I had) for the north London derby.

“We had to change something and Aaron has come here to try to make us better. We needed a result on that day and I decided to play him. That’s all.”

Spurs Web Opinion

It does not really make much of a difference for Spurs whether it is Leno or Ramsdale who starts in between the sticks. The NLD is a must-not-lose game for us on the back of the last two results as a defeat at the Emirates would really pile the pressure on Nuno early in his Spurs reign.

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