Arsenal closely monitoring Portuguese Starlet, would replace Gibbs

Arsenal closely monitoring Portuguese Starlet, would replace Gibbs

Wikimedia/Nazmi-Amin Tai

Arsenal will consider offers for Kieran Gibbs this summer after registering interest in FC Lorient’s Portuguese left back, Raphaël Guerreiro.

According to the Guardian, the North London club has made a number of scouting trips to see Guerreiro, who is an attacking-minded left-back capable of playing as a full-back or wing-back.

Arsenal’s relationship with Lorient could serve them well if they choose to pursue the Portuguese international this summer. The Gunners purchased Laurent Koscielny from the French club in 2010, sold forward Gilles Sunu in 2011, and loaned them Francis Coquelin and Joel Campbell.

Guerreiro initially impressed Arsene Wenger during last summer’s European Under-21 Championship. The player’s versatility going forward is particularly appealing to Wenger who likes his full-backs to contribute in attack.

If Guerreiro does make the move to London, Gibbs’ place in the squad is unattainable. An England international with 11-caps to his name, Gibbs has reached a point in his career and an age, 26, where he needs to play regularly. However, he’s only made three starts in the Premier League this season after falling behind Nacho Monreal in the depth chart. With much of his action coming late in games off the bench, in the FA Cup, or in relief of Monreal, Gibbs can’t be happy with his situation.

Gibbs graduated from the Arsenal academy and made his debut for the senior team in 2007 at the age of 18. By 2011, he was Arsenal’s first choice left-back, a position he cemented with the departure of Gael Clichy. Injuries and stagnation in his development have held Gibbs back though, and he lost his starting status midway through last season when Monreal put in a series of mistake-free performances.

It remains to be seen which clubs are interested in Gibbs, however, his age, international experience, and Champions League pedigree would make him a valuable commodity for a club fighting for a place in the top four. His status as a homegrown player could increase his asking price, as well.

It would be a shame to see Gibbs leave considering his deep-rooted ties to the club. At the same time, it doesn’t appear Gibbs is the left-back of the future anymore, and with Monreal pushing 30, Arsenal needs a young understudy.

Guerreiro fits the bill as an attacking full-back whose youth gives him time to learn on the bench, and international pedigree matching the type of player Arsenal should look to attract.