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Leno says he never feared for Arsenal spot

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(Reuters) - Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno said he never feared losing his starting spot to Emiliano Martinez during his injury lay-off last season.

Leno, 28, sustained a knee injury in June that ruled him out of the final few matches of the 2019-20 campaign. Martinez impressed in the German’s absence, playing a key role in Arsenal’s FA Cup triumph but he was sold to Aston Villa in the close season.

“The club always gave me the feeling I was the number one, I am the number one and will be the number one,” Leno, who kept a clean sheet and saved two penalties in Thursday’s League Cup victory over Liverpool, told Sky Sports.

“That was always very good from the club - my job is to prove it every week and I think I’ve done it again.

“Of course, it’s very good for a goalkeeper to make saves from penalties and see laughing faces after the game, but I’d prefer next time to win the game without a shootout. When it happens though it’s even better.”

Arsenal, who are fifth in the Premier League standings, face Sheffield United on Sunday.

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Robert Birsel