When Kieran Gibbs burst on to the scene in 2008, he was seen as England’s long term replacement for Ashley Cole. Now, at the age of 26, Gibbs is struggling to make it into Arsenal’s first team, and his lack of action could see him miss out on a place in his nation’s Euro 2016 squad.
This season, Gibbs has made only 12 league appearances for Arsenal, only two of which from the start. Given that his rivals for the position in the England side have been getting regular football, it seems that he will most likely be overlooked by Roy Hodgson when it comes to picking his squad. Ryan Bertrand and Leighton Baines are both first choice full backs at their club sides so will be playing regular football.
At Arsenal, Gibbs is only second choice left back to Nacho Monreal, and this seems unlikely to change in the coming weeks. The Spaniard has been a consistent performer in Arsene Wenger’s side, and given the Frenchman’s previous record of sticking by performing players; he will probably remain the Gunners’ first choice left back for the foreseeable future.
During the January transfer window, Gibbs was linked with a move away from North London, with Newcastle rumoured to be interested. This move never materialised, most likely because Arsene Wenger was unable to bring in a replacement for the 26-year-old. It may have been a different story if the Gunners had completed a move for Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell.
Even when he has come off the bench, Gibbs hasn’t always been used as a left back. On more than one occasion, he has been used out on the left wing. This position actually led to the Englishman scoring his only goal of the season, a late equaliser in the North London derby against Arsenal.
It now seems likely that Gibbs will miss out on a place in Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2016 squad, given Monreal’s excellent form. Unless the Spaniard picks up an injury, Gibbs will be lucky to get a run in the side at left back.