Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta has given his opinion on how England are different from other national teams.
The Spaniard believes that the Three Lions have more options at left-back than Spain, Germany and other national sides.
'It was great for Kieran Gibbs to get back in the national team', the Arsenal captain told the official matchday programme. 'He has been unlucky because it’s hard to see any other national team with three or four left backs who are top quality.
'Spain and Germany definitely don’t have that. No other international team has three or four top quality left backs like Ashley Cole, Leighton Baines, Luke Shaw and Gibbo.
'Now he’s got his chance, he has to take it because I think he can be a very good player for the national team. I’m very happy for him'.
First of all, Cole has retired from England duty so, going by Arteta’s words, England are now left with three top-quality left-backs.
But are the remaining three left-backs truly of top-quality?
Everton’s Leighton Baines is probably one of the most underrated players in the Premier League and would have certainly earned more than the 29 caps for England had Cole not been always in top form. At 29, the former Wigan Athletic star still has time to make more appearances for England.
But are Arsenal's Kieran Gibbs and Manchester United’s Luke Shaw genuinely top-quality players?
There is no doubt that both Gibbs and Shaw have potential, but they are far from the finished articles yet. While the former is still developing and is not in the top five left-backs in Europe, the latter is 19 and had a breakthrough season only in 2013-14.
Of course, in the coming years both Gibbs and Shaw are expected to progress and develop their game, but at this moment in time labelling them ‘top quality left-backs’ is premature.