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EXCLUSIVE: Arsenal legend David Seaman hails keeper Bernd Leno ahead of North London derby

PUBLISHED: 23:38 01 March 2019 | UPDATED: 23:40 01 March 2019

Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno blocks a shot during the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. PA

Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno blocks a shot during the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Gunners legend David Seaman has been speaking exclusively with Arsenal reporter Layth Yousif at the London Football Awards, in aid of national charity, Willow before the North London derby on Saturday. Read on for his take on Bernd Leno and Petr Cech.

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech reacts after making a save during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London.Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech reacts after making a save during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London.

Ahead of the eagerly-awaited North London derby at Wembley on Saturday Arsenal legend David Seaman has been speaking about the goalkeeping situation at the club.

The popular Seaman who lifted three league championships, four FA Cups, the League Cup and the European Cup Winners Cup hailed keeper Bernd Leno ahead of the vital clash.

Arsenal’s form has been mixed since the end of 2018, but Emery’s side are putting together a good run of form since losing 3-1 to Manchester City in early February.

The Gunners thrashed Bournemouth 5-1 on Wednesday, after beating Southampton and BATE Borisov

Arsenal's David Seaman celebrates winning the FA Cup in 2003Arsenal's David Seaman celebrates winning the FA Cup in 2003

A dependable goalkeeper is very much part of the Gunners strategy as they covet a top four finish and a place back at the top table of the Champions League.

After dropping out of the title race, Spurs’ hold on a top-four place suddenly doesn’t look as strong with in-form Arsenal approaching.

And Seaman believes Leno has a vital role to play against the Lillywhites and for the rest of the season.

Speaking exclusively with Arsenal reporter Layth at the London Football Awards, in aid of national charity, Willow Seaman told the Gazette: “At the moment Leno’s doing really well because if he makes a mistake he’ll forget about it and do his best to put on a good performance afterwards.

Arsenal celebrate winning the League Championship after their 3-1 win: (back row, l-r) coach Stewart Houston, Nigel Winterburn, David Seaman, Tony Adams, Steve Bould, David O'Leary, Paul Merson, David Hillier, Alan Smith, physio Gary Lewin; (front row, l-r) Michael Thomas, Paul Davis, Lee Dixon, Anders Limpar, Kevin CampbellArsenal celebrate winning the League Championship after their 3-1 win: (back row, l-r) coach Stewart Houston, Nigel Winterburn, David Seaman, Tony Adams, Steve Bould, David O'Leary, Paul Merson, David Hillier, Alan Smith, physio Gary Lewin; (front row, l-r) Michael Thomas, Paul Davis, Lee Dixon, Anders Limpar, Kevin Campbell

“That shows to be he’s got the potential to become a really good goalkeeper because I can see how much more he’s got to give.”

Seaman also admitted he was surprised at Cech’s announcement he was to retire at the end of the season.

Cech, who announced in January he would be quitting football after an illustrious career, lost his place in Unai Emery’s Arsenal side to German goalkeeper Leno, and will be on the bench at the weekend.

Victory at the national stadium on Saturday lunchtime for Emery’s side would see them close to within one point of their bitter rivals from the other end of the Seven Sisters Road – with a strong defence the key to keeping out the home side.

Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman (left) smiles as he talks with goalkeeper coach Bob Wilson during a training session at London Colney (pic Nick Potts/PA)Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman (left) smiles as he talks with goalkeeper coach Bob Wilson during a training session at London Colney (pic Nick Potts/PA)

Seaman said of Cech’s decision to quit: “I thought it was a little bit early. He’s only 36. I was surprised as he’s still producing quality.

“He knows in his own head when he’s ready to retire. I had that feeling. But I had that feeling when I was 40 not 36.

“I was ready for it. He knows his own mind. He knows his own body. And that’s a real indicator. You know as a keeper when you’re ready to call it a day. From little injuries and little niggles to getting up every day for training.

“For a goalkeeper that’s the hardest part: the training. Sometimes matches aren’t hard for goalkeepers – it’s the training that’s harder.”

Follow Arsenal reporter Layth on Twitter @laythy29

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