Arsenal return to their Champions League campaign on Wednesday night, hosting Arsene Wenger’s former club Monaco, and Kieran Gibbs has told the London Evening Standard that the Gunners must be wary of Dimitar Berbatov.
The Bulgarian striker is a well known name to English football fans, having spent just under six years in the Premier League with Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Fulham. Having signed for Spurs in 2008, he scored an impressive 122 goals during his stay in England, before departing Fulham in January 2014 to sign with Ligue 1 side Monaco.
He has 16 goals since his move to the principality, with six in 18 games this term, although he has yet to find the back of the net in five Champions Leauge appearances for Les Rouges et Blancs. Berbatov returns to North London on Wednesday expected to lead the line for Monaco, and, although known for his lackadaisical approach to the game, the 34-year-old has all the quality to defeat even the toughest defence.
One of the members of the defence he will be attempting to overcome is Gibbs, who started breaking through into the Gunners first-team as Berbatov was wowing audiences at Old Trafford. The 25-year-old has over 100 appearances to his name now for the North London club, and, were it not for injuries, he would be a much more established Premier League star, and likely a more consistent England international.
Addressing the Standard ahead of the tie with Monaco, Gibbs admitted that the challenge will be tough with the Ligue 1 side possessing some top quality players, and the left-back named Berbatov as the one who can ‘change a game at any time’.
“It is a good draw,” Gibbs was quoted as saying. “But at the end of the day you will still come across the best teams. Monaco are not there for no reason.
“Dimitar Berbatov can change a game at any time.”