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double heartbreak

Arsene Wenger says Kieran Gibbs’ exit hurt more than Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s

The England duo left the Emirates this summer

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said the summer departure of Kieran Gibbs to West Brom hurt him more than seeing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain leave for Liverpool. 

Speaking ahead of his side’s Monday night clash against the Baggies, Wenger revealed it was hard to let Gibbs go having coached the left-back since he was 10-years-old.

Gibbs or the Ox?

AFP or licensors
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Gibbs or the Ox?

Wenger said: “Ideally you want stability and you want players who carry the values for the generations.


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“Overall it’s true that with Gibbs 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.”

Gibbs has started the Baggies last two matches

Reuters
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Gibbs has started the Baggies last two matches

Gibbs struggled to hold down a regular starting place in Arsenal’s first-team, playing just 11 times in the Premier League last season.

But the writing was on the wall for the 27-year-old when the Gunners snapped up Sead Kolasinac over the summer.

Kolasinac has already scored twice for Arsenal

Rex Features
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Kolasinac has already scored twice for Arsenal

Wenger said: “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.”