Gunners goalkeeper had to play the second foul against Petr Cech at the beginning of the season – but ended her as one of the key players of Unai Emery.
Bernd Leno thinks he can finish his first season in England in the best shape despite having some "very hard" times in the first few months at Arsenal.
After coming to North London from Bayer Leverkusen last summer with a $ 20 million ($ 25 million) deal, it was expected that Leno would immediately use Unai Emery's new look at the expense of Petr Cech.
But Emery surprised many when he decided to start the season with the more experienced Cech in the Premier League, with Leno having to wait for the Europa League meeting with Vorskla to be his first start for his new club.
Another start in the Carabao Cup against Brentford followed, but Leno was not involved in the Watford match at the end of September fo One minute in the Premier League.
It was a difficult situation for a player who had made more than 230 appearances for Leverkusen before leaving Germany.
"It was a difficult time," said Leno exclusively DAZN DACH . "I think the goalkeeper is a special position, because as a striker you can play the last 20 minutes, but as a goalkeeper you do not change too much, which was a very difficult time."
"But the coach and the goalkeeper The coach Both of them told me to stay calm and concentrate on training. I have played some games in the Europa League and Carabao Cup and it was good to improve these games and get a feel for the defense.
"It was also good for my teammates because when you come to another club and in another country everything is new. I also started a little later in the preseason and everything is just a little bit bigger.
"So maybe it was good in training too learn and see and also gain confidence in your teammates. In the end it might not be bad to be the first choice in the Premier League.
Things changed for Leno when Cech suffered an injury shortly after the break against Watford on 29 September.
That was the German introduced by the bank and since then has played every single minute in the Premier League.
Despite some nervous moments in the beginning, Leno became one of the best of Arsenal's constant achievers – underlined by the fact that he was one of six players eligible for the season's player award.
This award was won by Alexandre Lacazette, for whom Leno himself voted, but for whom he voted The 27-year-old admits he was proud just to quarrel.
"When I came here, I did not expect anything like that," he said. "Of course it made me happy to be one of those six players.
" It feels good to make the fans happy when they perform. If the fans are happy, we are happy too. That makes me proud. "
Germany has two international matches in June against Belarus and Estonia in the European Championship qualifiers.
] If Leno is not called to the squad of Joachim Low, he will spend the summer preparing for his second full season in the Premier League.
"I feel like I've improved myself by taking this big step into another country," he said. "Arsenal is my second professional club in my career." I think I've improved a lot because the quality in the Premier League and also at Arsenal is very high.
"I think I'm in a good moment and enjoy being here to improve myself.
" That's why I came to Arsenal. "