• Premier League

Cole a good example for Gibbs to follow, says Wenger

ESPN staff
October 1, 2014
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Arsene Wenger believes Kieran Gibbs has the potential to follow in the footsteps of former Arsenal defender Ashley Cole.

Wenger suggested Gibbs is emerging as a key figure in Arsenal's future and hinted at similarities in the career of this latest graduate and Cole, who spent eight years at the club before his £5 million move to Chelsea in 2006.

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Gibbs has been a regular on the treatment table in recent years but Wenger remains determined to keep faith in the 25-year-old.

"It looks to me that he's going into second gear now and he realises that he can trust his body, he can trust his talent," stated Wenger when asked about a full-back who has suffered with injury problems time and again over the last couple of seasons.

"He was a bit inhibited [by injuries] for a period. What doesn't help is when you're in and out because of injury. You need a consistent presence in the team. If you don't have a consistent presence at the top level, you do not have the confidence that makes you feel you belong to this world.

"I have talked to him many times. We try always to show him confidence and, look, I let Gael Clichy go [to Manchester City] because Gibbs was a young English left-back. That's the main reason I let Clichy go. I wanted to give him [Gibbs] a chance.

"He's such a great potential because he can dribble as well. When he arrived at the club he was 16 and he was a winger, midfielder, and I saw that potential didn't really come out. I saw he was intelligent and maybe I could transform him into a defender. It was a bit similar to Ashley Cole.

"It's a good example for him to follow Ashley because he is top quality. You see [negative] stories about Ashley Cole but on the day of a game, when it mattered and when you had to be there, he was always there. You have to respect that."

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