Mikel Arteta has asked Arsenal to snap up Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper and West Ham United target Unai Simon this summer, as reported by La Razon.
The Gunners boss was never going to throw his much-maligned goalkeeper under the bus – not in public at least. Arteta is a demanding man but Jose Mourinho he most certainly isn’t.
Privately, however, the former Manchester City coach appears to have lost faith in his £20 million Germany international. And who can blame him?
Leno has always been erratic – blessed with cat-like reflexes but with a tendency to undermine himself through high-profile gaffes. Friday’s performance against Everton certainly strengthened the argument that, last summer, Arsenal sold the wrong goalkeeper.
Even Massimo Taibi himself would have held his head in his hands as Leno let a Richarlison cross slip through his legs and into the net.
And, according to La Razon, the ruthless Arteta has wasted no time in telling his Arsenal bosses to make their move for a new number one. The Gunners have been instructed by their head coach to place Unai Simon at the top of their summer wish-list.
The 23-year-old Spain international replaced Kepa Arrizabalaga at Athletic in 2018 but, like his San Mames predecessor – and Leno, you could argue – Simon has a habit of flitting from awesome to awful.
His high-profile blunder in Spain’s clash with Kosovo during the March international break summed up the sort of season Simon has been having. And that wasn’t his only mistake in recent months.
Yet Luis Enrique remains a big fan of a talented young shot-stopper who appears to have succeeded David de Gea to become La Roja’s number one.
“Unai Simon has been outstanding,” the former Barcelona boss told El Desmarque.
La Razon reports Arsenal’s London rivals West Ham United are targeting Simon too, as are Borussia Dortmund and Monaco.