Arsenal update: Where does the Monreal signing leave Kieran Gibbs?

By Stefano on February 4th, 2013 2 comments

There’s no denying that Arsenal are looking a much stronger side than they did a few months ago. And while part on this is down to the scintillating form of Waclott, the ever growing confidence of Wilshere and the attacking flair of Giroud the defence has also played its part.

And in particular Arsenal’s key defender this season has arguably been Kieran Gibbs. At the start of the Liverpool, game Gibbs’ Arsenal future looked assured. Not only was he playing well and had signed a new long term contract, but after a series of disastrous performances no one believed that Andre Santos posed any real thereat to his position.

Then disaster – yet another injury- this time to the thigh – and Gibbs is out for over a month and Arsene Wenger – in old school parlance – got his cheque book out.

Nacho Monreal then looks like a superb signing. Against Stoke, a baptism of fire if there ever was one, he looked assured, always in control,  tough in the tackle and imaginative going forwards. Pretty much everything you’d want from a  left back. And it was clearly  no fluke. Take a peek at these these stats here. Monreal has been Malaga’s Mr Consistent. No wonder that Malaga manager Manuel Pellegrini said that he was very sad to see him go.

The big question then is what happen when Gibbs returns to full fitness? Will he be straight back into the team? Sadly the answer is probably no. As accomplished a player as Gibbs is he has never managed a run of more than half a season without an injury and I think that pushed Wenger to move for a number one left back.

There were rumours that Wenger had decided he was going to sign Monreal in the summer anyhow and just pushed the deal forward. This might be true, but had Gibbs been injury-free for the season and Meade started to emerge as a potential replacement then I am not so sure that a left back would have been high of Wenger’s targets.

Wenger has gone on record as saying that he sees Monreal as one of the five best left backs in the world. I am not sure he would rate Gibbs quite as highly.

So I fear for the Arsenal future of Kieran Gibbs. For me he is a superb left back and way too good to be anyone’ s understudy. Who knows what the next six months will bring and maybe Wenger will give Gibbs the nod when he is fully fit.

But I think like Carl Jenkinson, this young Englishman is destined for a season or two not playing anything like as much football as he hoped.

More Arsenal

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Who else did Arsenal try and sign in the transfer window?

 

  • Hash

    Nacho Monreal provides the stability that the back four needs. They are not so nervy now whenever the attack comes on the left side or whatever cover the center backs need from their left back, they know they will get it. You put Santos in you can see how nervy they get.

  • Tappy

    Quite simply, if Nacho is a better player and defender, I really don’t care. There is no loyalty in football and I don’t go in for all of this “buying a player will kill others coming through”‘ if you are good enough you will get your chance. We watch Arsenal in the hope that we get results, and want the best players playing, not injury prone also-rans. Gibbs will have to accept he is not as good and become a deputy.
    I am not even going to mention The Brazillian, he is not even a footballer, let alone a LB




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