He may have captained Arsenal against Bayern Munich in the Champions League less than a fortnight ago but that merely reinforced the lack of depth at the Gunners’ disposal rather than Kieran Gibbs’ transition from a fresh-faced academy graduate into an on-pitch inspiration.
In fact, that miserable night in Munich was only the left-back’s twelfth start of the season in all competitions.
Ironically, now Gibbs appears to have put his injury problems behind him, he’s further away than ever from the starting XI. And this could give West Ham hope of renewing a deal in the summer after The Sun reported in August that Arsenal had rejected their loan offer for the 27-year-old.
As will reports in Sport Mediaset claiming that Arsenal could upgrade their options with a £17million move for PSG flyer Layvin Kurzawa – although why the 24-year-old would swap Barcelona’s Champions League batterers for the Emirates Stadium remains a mystery.
Nonetheless, if the ever-reliable Nacho Monreal is enough to keep Gibbs out of first-team contention, the arrival of one of Europe’s most exciting full-backs would surely force him out of the door after nine years in and around the starting XI.
And West Ham, who the Sun claim are looking to flog summer signing Arthur Masuaku for a fraction of his £6million transfer fee, could offer Gibbs a route out of the Emirates with just over a year left on his contract.
The 10-time England international could benefit from a swimming in a smaller pond while his big game experience could prove vital to a Hammers side with ambitions of closing the gap to the top six next season.