Alex Runarsson ‘100 per cent’ sure he has ability to take Bernd Leno’s spot as Arsenal No.1

The Iceland international replaced Emiliano Martinez in the summer
The Iceland international replaced Emiliano Martinez in the summer (Picture: Getty Images)

Alex Runarsson believes he has the ability to take over from Bernd Leno as Arsenal’s No.1 goalkeeper.

The Iceland international was brought in from Ligue 1 side Dijon for £1.8million after Emiliano Martinez was sold to Aston Villa in the summer.

Despite Martinez’s excellent performances after the restart last season, Arteta put his faith in Leno and has persisted with the Germany international.

Arteta has put his faith in Leno
Arteta has put his faith in Leno (Picture: Getty Images)

And although Runarsson has made a total of just two appearances for the Gunners in the Europa League, he has his sights set on challenging Leno for the No.1 spot.

‘Yes. I think that should be the mindset for everybody that you want to play,’ the 25-year-old said ahead of Arsenal’s clash against Rapid Vienna on Thursday.

‘It doesn’t matter what position you play. I think maybe as a goalkeeper it is a little bit different, but you definitely have to have the mentality that you want to push to become No.1.

‘If it happens or not, if it happens in one week, one month or one year, that always has to be your mentality – because otherwise you’re in the wrong profession I think.’

When asked whether he has faith in his ability to take Leno’s place, Runarsson said: ‘Yes, 100 per cent – otherwise I wouldn’t be playing for this club, I think.

‘I have to have this mentality that I can play and I have to believe it and show it.’

Arteta can rotate his squad against Rapid Vienna with the Gunners already through to the knockout stages of the Europa League.

The Spanish boss will also likely have one eye on this weekend’s big north London derby against bitter rivals Tottenham on Sunday.

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