This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Fulham have opened talks with Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno, according to The Athletic.
The German shot-stopper has entered the final year of his contract and the Cottagers are keen to capitalise as they look to gear up for life back in the Premier League after winning the Championship in 2021/22.
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But would he be a good signing for Fulham? And do they need him?
Our FLW writers share their thoughts…
Can you remember how much Preston North End paid for these 22 summer signings?
Poor old Marek Rodak, but, this would have to be classed as a very shrewd signing for the Cottagers.
Leno was, at times, a shining light in a difficult period after the departure of Arsene Wenger in North London, and the 30-year-old still has a lot to give, despite being displaced by Aaron Ramsdale.
Alphonse Areola had a good season for Fulham in 2020/21, and they were still relegated without much of a fight, but an elite glovesman could be crucial once again, and it is very hard to argue with Leno’s CV, in comparison to Rodak’s.
There is a chance that Marco Silva would give Rodak a chance to stake a claim at the start of the season, but it is unlikely that the German would move to Craven Cottage if he was not assured to be first choice.
With one year remaining on his contract, it would be smart business.
This could be a great signing for Fulham.
Having been linked with plenty of keepers ahead of the summer, it seems clear they are in the market for a shot-stopper and Leno would be a great option.
The 30-year-old is a fantastic goalkeeper, and has extensive European top-flight experience first with Bayer Leverkusen and then with Arsenal.
With one year left on his Arsenal contract, and having lost his place as number one at the club, it is likely a good deal could be struck for the shot-stopper, too.
The only concern here could be his wage demands, but if Fulham feel they can afford his salary, a move for Leno makes total sense for the Cottagers this summer.
This would be a top signing at Fulham, With Berndt Leno proving to be an excellent Premier League goalkeeper in recent years, that is despite falling down the pecking order.
Leno’s reflexes and general shot-stopping abilities rank amongst the best in the division, whilst his composure and passing range is also at a good level.
Fulham are first and foremost looking to avoid the Premier League drop when the new campaign begins in a few weeks time, with the addition of a player like Leno definitely going to bolster their chances in achieving just that.
It would be a real coup if Fulham are able to get this one over the line, and whilst their goalkeeping department appears ready for the Premier League, an opportunity to sign Leno, that is within budgetary guidelines cannot be missed.