Charlie Nicholas has explained he feels sorry for Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno and that it’s difficult for him having a vulnerable centre-back combination in front of him.
The German shot-stopper has managed only two clean sheets in the opening nine Premier League games and is certainly not an authoritative figure in net.
He’s shown he has excellent reflexes and can play out from the back since he moved to the Emirates Stadium last summer, but the defence remains an issue for Unai Emery’s team.
The North London club look shaky with a pairing of David Luiz and Sokratis Papastathopoulos in the heart of defence, while Shkodran Mustafi is another poor option in the mix.
Arsenal scrapped a 3-2 home win over Vitoria Guimaraes on Thursday night in the Europa League group stages and had Emiliano Martínez in goal.
Leno will return in-between the sticks at home to Crystal Palace at the weekend and could do with a boost in confidence with a strong display.
“Bernd Leno makes some mistakes and is young, but he is left completely and utterly isolated by the lack of a defensive partnership. I feel sorry for him,” Nicholas told Sky Sports.
There are certainly areas of Leno’s game to improve on, but he’s definitely not the main issue that Emery needs to fix.
The 27-year-old is the clear number one option moving forward and now Arsenal need a settled backline in front of him.
Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin have to start regularly in the full-back positions, while Luiz and Rob Holding looks like it could provide a strong balance at centre-back.