Unai Emery: Bernd Leno to battle Petr Cech for No.1 spot at Arsenal
Arsenal boss Unai Emery says the fight for the No. 1 goalkeeping position is wide open at the club even though he brought in Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen this summer.
Leno is expected to challenge Petr Cech for the No. 1 spot, although Arsenal also still have David Ospina on their books -- along with previous third-choice keeper Emiliano Martinez and academy product Matt Macey.
Emery said he plans on keeping three goalkeepers in the first-team squad, and that he hasn't decided on a No. 1 yet.
"I want to work with Petr Cech, with Bernd Leno, with Emiliano Martinez, with Matt Macey, with Ospina," he said. "It's clear that we have [a lot] of goalkeepers but we want to work in the future with three goalkeepers in the first team. Now, I want to look, I want to work every day with all the goalkeepers and then I am going to decide for [who is No 1]."
The new head coach also wants to get his players better before he appoints a new club captain. Former skipper Per Mertesacker retired after last season, while vice-captain Laurent Koscielny is out injured until at least December.
"We've spoken about that [the captaincy]. My idea is to know every player and to know, also, the personality of the players," Emery said. " And then, I think my first idea is to have five captains in the team. But at the moment, I don't know the names. I need to know more and also, firstly, Koscielny is the first captain now and for me, I have respect for that.
"Then, we are looking at who are the players whose personality is the best in the dressing room. We want to keep the respect for these players and to find the captain and choose very well the best player for that."
Emery is Arsenal's first new coach since Wenger took over in 1996, but he said he hasn't spoken to the Frenchman yet about the squad he inherited. However, he expects to run into Wenger soon at the annual coaches forum in Nyon.
"Normally, when we meet every year in Nyon with the coaches, we have a conversation together. I am sure we will meet together in the next week or month or in the near future," he said.
Asked if he would value Wenger's advice when it comes to the squad, he added: "Each coach needs to know the players. Not all the coaches have the same relationship with a player and I have my personality. I want to know with my direct opinion, with my direct conversations with the player. I have information on the players for the club, from the people around me.
"The information with Arsene is also important for me but the best is my direct relationship and conversations with the players."