It was reported late last night that Arsenal left-back Gael Clichy has once again been linked with Serie A side Juventus, and although the Frenchman may be interested in joining the Italian club in the near future, his agent, Ivan Le Mee, has assured Arsenal fans that his client is fully committed to the club and staying put for now. Clichy’s agent told Calciomercato.com:
“His relationship with Arsenal and Wenger are great. I don’t understand where all these rumours have come from. Also, his contract expires in June 2012 so it wouldn’t make sense to force the issue now.”
He goes on to say:
“Gael is doing very well, playing for his national team and in the Premier League he’s now a certain starter. There will be time for him to go to Italy.”
The 25-year-old French international joined Arsenal in 2003 from AS Cannes as a successor to Ashley Cole. Cole eventually departed for London rivals Chelsea in 2006 and Since then, Clichy has been a first-team regular for the Gunners, made the full-back slot his very own, and has been regarded as one of the best in the world in his position. I say ‘has’ as opposed to ‘is’ because for me Gael Clichy doesn’t seem to be the same player I used to watch a few years back. In fact, since the game against Birmingham City at St. Andrews in 2008, Clichy has not been right. The left-back gave a last minute penalty away and due to William Gallas hurling abuse at him for his blunder, Clichy’s confidence and self belief has gradually faded.
Gael Clichy has made a total of 236 appearances (in all competitions) in his Arsenal career so far, and has collected one goal along the way. This season, Clichy’s performances have been to a satisfactory level, butt looks very complacent at times and committing school boy errors (the Champions League match against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukraine comes to mind).
Arsenal fans reading this may think I’m a madman (even though my brother thinks I’m one) but the truth is, if Clichy does decide he wants to leave in the winter window, or in the near future for Italy, we shouldn’t panic.
Arsenal have never been short of talent in the left-back slot and in the present, we do have 3 good players waiting in the wings. We have 21-year-old Kieran Gibbs, who impressed hugely last season and is surely next in line, young French star Armand Traore (currently on-loan to Juventus this season) and 19-year-old Englishman Thomas Cruise.
Wenger knows his players better than me, and like Clichy’s agent has stated, the boss and the player have a great relationship. Personally, as an Arsenal fan, it would be sad to see Gael Clichy leave, as I have been a long time admirer of the player, but lately his performances have disappointed me a lot, leaving me to believe that maybe its time for a change in personnel.
Ivan Le Mee (Clichy’s agent) has ruled out a move for his client this January, but did mention that there will be time for Clichy to go to Italy at some point in his career. The bottom line is Wenger and fellow Arsenal fans shouldn’t worry as we have got dependable reinforcements…should the transfer ensue of course.
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