Arsene Wenger has revealed that allowing Kieran Gibbs to leave Arsenal this summer ‘hurt’ him, more than the departure of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The Gunners sold both players in the final day of the transfer window, with the Ox joining Liverpool and Gibbs joining West Bromwich Albion.
Both players have been very average for our side in recent years, and even though Chamberlain looked to be flourishing in his final six months at the Emirates, had done very little in his time with the club.
There are a number of players in the squad who fans have become disillusioned with, including Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud, and more recently Francis Coquelin, and is it could well be Wenger’s emotional attachment to players that is stopping them from being sold.
Wenger said: ‘Of course. And I believe that for (players that leave) it must be difficult to make that step as well.
‘He did not ask to leave, it was a mutual decision. He wanted to play – he’s 27, or 28. You want to play at that age.
‘It was a difficult decision but on the other hand when a guy has given you so many years you have to accept that if he is not sure to play.
‘It is a fact that we have got Kolasinac, you cannot keep three left-backs (along with Nacho Monreal).’
‘Ideally you want stability and you want players who carry the values for the generations,’ he said.
‘Overall it’s true that with Gibbs (it hurt) more than Chamberlain because he had been educated at Arsenal from the age of 10.
‘When he arrived he was a left-winger. I transformed him into a full-back because he was not necessarily rated as a guy who would make it as a left winger but I saw something in him that was very intelligent, with pace, that made me feel he could make it as a left-back.
‘Academy players carry the values that you think are important, which are based on mental qualities, humility, respect and commitment, and as well football qualities which means you always try to play in a positive way. Plus real team play and focusing on a collective way.’
Is our squad being left behind by our rivals because of Wenger’s over-attachment? Which players have been given too much time to prove their worth to Arsenal?