Gary Neville has revealed that he doesn’t have a lot of faith in Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno after Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur in the north London derby.
The Germany international set the tone for a frenetic derby encounter with plenty of defensive mistakes when Leno played a direct hand in Christian Eriksen’s opener.
Leno got a weak hand to Erik Lamela’s shot and the Arsenal goalkeeper could only parry the ball into the path of Eriksen, who made no mistake with the goal at his mercy.
The Arsenal number one couldn’t stop Harry Kane’s penalty after Granit Xhaka’s senseless tackle inside the area brought down Son Heung-min in the 40th minute.
The Gunners battled back to salvage a point thanks to goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang either side of half-time at The Emirates.
Former Manchester United defender Neville admitted that he still has concerns about Leno despite the German goalkeeper embarking on his second full season in the Premier League.
“You talk about the threat, the intensity, good parts of the game, you still have to mention the fact that they look sloppy and rash at the back,” Neville said on his Sky Sports podcast.
“We talked about the goalkeeper’s mistake, I don’t quite trust him, I don’t think he’s anywhere near the class of the other top goalkeepers we have in the league.”
Neville went on to add that Arsenal’s defence needs a lot of work.
“The two centre-backs, they’re rash,” Neville continued.
“You could argue that Hector Bellerin’s got to come back in, that Rob Holding’s got to come back in, Kieran Tierney’s got to come back in. So that back four can be strengthened.
“But you still fear that that back four will always still not be good enough for where Arsenal want to be, and they somehow from somewhere need to unearth a centre-back that’s going to hold that back-line together.”
Arsenal are in fifth place and five points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool FC.
The Gunners signed six players in the summer transfer window to further revamp Unai Emery’s squad.
The north London side will be hoping to finish in the top four this term for the first time in four seasons.