Arsenal legend insists Bernd Leno, not Petr Cech, should start Europa League final

Former Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman has this afternoon provided his take on the selection headache facing Gunners’ boss Unai Emery ahead of the Europa League final.

Arsenal vs Chelsea

Emery’s men are set to go head-to-head with London rivals Chelsea in the first of two all-English European showpiece matchups next week.

Arsenal booked their spot in the finale courtesy of a stellar 7-3 aggregate semi-final victory over Valencia, which came on the back of an equally-impressive ousting of Serie A giants Napoli in the competition’s last-8.

LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 02: Alexandre Lacazette of FC Arsenal and Gabriel Paulista of FC Valencia battle for the ball during the UEFA Europa League Semi Final First Leg match between Arsenal and Valencia at Emirates Stadium on May 2, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

A win in Baku in 5 days’ time would mark the first piece of silverware for the Gunners in the Emery-era.

Perhaps more importantly, though, securing the Europa League crown would also ensure Arsenal’s place in next season’s Champions League group stage.

Cech vs Leno

As such, ahead of the biggest fixture of his career in north London to this point, Unai Emery has a number of crucial decisions to make regarding his starting XI.

With Aaron Ramsey sidelined, the likes of Granit Xhaka, Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi and Mesut Ozil will all be battling it out for a place in the capital giants’ midfield.

There will also be calls to be made regarding who starts at centre-half, as well as whether or not to pair Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Perhaps the most high-profile decision for Unai Emery, though, comes between the posts.

Veteran Petr Cech has acted as Arsenal’s no.1 throughout their Europa League endeavours this season.

In addition, the shot-stopper is set to depart the Emirates this summer, meaning next Wednesday’s final will come as the last of his legendary career.

Petr Cech

Petr Cech during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Arsenal at Liberty Stadium on January 30, 2018 in Swansea, Wales.

‘That means Leno’

One individual who is nevertheless of the opinion that Gunners’ no.1 Bernd Leno should be opted for over Cech, though, is legendary Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman.

Speaking in an interview with Sky Sports earlier today, the former English international explained:

‘My only thing is that Arsenal really need this; they need this more than Chelsea.’

‘They need to get into the Champions League and I’m always for playing your strongest team. That means Leno.’

He continued, however:

‘But I’m sure Cech will play because it’s his last ever game.’

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