While Sheffield United fans prepare for a trip to Swansea tonight, eyes last night were firmly fixed on the Premier League as Brentford saw off Arsenal.
The Bees showed how it’s done in front of their passionate home crowd, overwhelming the Gunners and seeing them off 2-0. In the end, it was a relatively routine win for Thomas Frank’s men.
But while Arsenal against Brentford might not normally be high on United fans’ watchlist, this summer we have reason to keep tabs on proceedings in north London. And more so, keep tabs on how Bernd Leno is doing.
The answer to what question after one game? Well, it’s a resounding ‘not very well’. And with Aaron Ramsdale in Arsenal’s sights, Blades fans may need to be worried once again.
Leno under pressure
The narrative among Arsenal fans all summer has been how expensive Ramsdale is. They simply don’t want the club to pay the reported £35m asking-price. Indeed, it was claimed just this week that talks had broken down over that fee.
But with Ramsdale said to have wanted the move, and with Leno faltering again, could Arsenal now actually come up with the goods?
The German ‘keeper looked shaky from the get-go last night. Hurried into a number of rushed clearances in the first half, he was then beaten at his near post by Sergi Canos’ strike.
To add insult to injury, Leno was then bullied by Pontus Jansson, allowing Christian Norgaard to head into and empty goal to seal the game. All in all, it was a pretty bleak showing from the Arsenal stopper.
Arsenal to pay up?
Mikel Arteta and his partner in doing transfer business, Edu Gaspar, now face a big few weeks at Arsenal. They’re under pressure to get deals done, and time is running out.
It could be, then, that Arsenal now decide to simply pay the money for Ramsdale. Yes, it’s a big outlay for a goalkeeper who’s been relegated twice.
But Leno showed – not for the first time – that he’s just not the man for a club supposedly wanting to push for the top six. For Sheffield United, this can be seen as good and bad news.
On one hand, United would love ‘Rambo’ to stay. But on the flip side, £35m would give Jokanovic funds to essentially rebuild this squad.
Don’t be surprised, then, to see Arsenal and Edu come knocking once more this week after Leno’s Brentford horror show.