We are in the middle of February and the 2019/20 Premier League season has already witnessed its inevitable winners. Although fans and pundits would have hoped for a tighter race at the top, Liverpool’s unbelievable run has left every other team hanging behind. Hence, it would not be an understatement to say that Jurgen Klopp’s side might be one of the best Premier League teams of the modern era.
Whilst superstars like Virgil van Dijk, Sergio Aguero, Sadio Mane, Kevin De Bruyne and Jamie Vardy are making headlines each week, other players in the division are yet to receive their share of recognition.
Therefore, in this article, we will discuss 5 unsung heroes of the 2019/20 Premier League season.
#5. Bernd Leno
Mikel Arteta’s arrival at the Emirates Stadium has excited many Arsenal fans in terms of their improved performances, although the corresponding results are yet to kick in. The Gunners are a lowly 10th on the Premier League table, and almost have an impossible task to secure European football for next season.
Whilst the negatives in this Arsenal side are many, the club’s truest fans will still try to thread out a couple of positives. And one of them will be goalkeeper Bernd Leno. The German shot-stopper has been one of Arsenal’s best individual performers alongside star-striker Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang. The 27-year-old had a rocky start to life in London when he joined from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer of 2018 but has come into his own this season.
Leno’s performances often go overlooked due to Arsenal’s leaky defence which has conceded 34 goals in 25 games. But the keeper has still bailed out the North Londoners on several occasions throughout the season. Stat-wise, Leno is only behind Newcastle’s Martin Dubravka in terms of saves, with an incredible 93 stops. He is also third in both ‘punches’ category (7) and ‘sweeper clearances’ (12) in the division.
Arsenal need to buckle up their defence and get the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe firing in order to save their season. But at least Arteta does not have to worry about the goalkeeping department. Leno is still behind Manuel Neuer and Marc-Andre Ter Stegen for the number 1 spot in Joachim Low’s German national team, but if he continues to impress, he could as well eclipse the duo.