Kieran Gibbs Still the answer for Arsenal at Left Back?


Arsenal seemed to be set at left back as early as last year with Kieran Gibbs looking great in the present and the future and Nacho Monreal providing an adequate backup. However, this year, the roles have completely flip-flopped and both left backs have been exposed at one point or another as multiple shifts have had been made.

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In the end, no one’s really sure where the situation at left back stands.

The opposite end of the defensive line is completely under control. Hector Bellerin and Mathieu Debuchy are all that Arsenal need, but Calum Chambers is there just in case. Left back is not so steady.

In fact, it’s so not steady that Arsenal are actively shopping for left backs. The unfortunate thing is that among left backs, there aren’t many glaring super stars that are head and shoulders above everyone else. David Alaba and Ricardo Rodriguez are both superb and probably near the top of the left back food chain but neither one is for sale.

Layvin Kurzawa is reportedly in talks with Arsenal, and his speed would be a welcome balance to Hector Bellerin’s across the pitch, but the reports may be more speculative then grounded in actual fact. The Metro is linking Kurzawa to Arsenal among other sources. Reportedly, Layvin Kurzawa has put in his transfer request to move on and as we know, Monaco players have a history of moving to Arsenal and after losing to the French side, Arsenal fans got a first-hand look at any Monaco players they could ever want.

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So Layvin Kurzawa is one possible option, but Kieran Gibbs is still probably the best option. He’s going on 26 years old and needs to start reasserting himself as the undisputed first choice left back of the Gunners or he’s going to miss his opportunity and end up like Nacho Monreal, a journeyman traveling about in hopes of finding playing time somewhere else. Obviously it worked out pretty well for Nacho, but that doesn’t mean it does for everyone.

Kieran Gibbs has the most talent out of anyone in this scenario as is, but with how young Layvin Kurzawa is (22), he could easily develop into the low-populace tier of elite left backs in world football. The only thing left to consider is whether Arsene Wenger would even want to spend money on a position that’s already pretty well-staffed.

Personally, I think a new year means giving Kieran Gibbs another shot to reclaim his rightful place. At times this season he looked absolutely superb and that kind of thing doesn’t just go away after half a season of being second-choice.

Nacho Monreal just doesn’t pop out as a first choice left back. He is consistently above average but even recently he’s fallen off in form. But in Arsene Wenger’s team-scheme, he’ll have every opportunity to prove his worth.

Next: Julian Draxler back on the radar?