Arsène Wenger has hailed the “tremendous” strides Kieran Gibbs has made this season - but says he is in a real battle with Nacho Monreal.

The 23-year-old has had an impressive season and won a recall to the England squad in October, only to withdraw due to injury.

I think October and November was really a springboard for him where he moved forward

Wenger has been delighted with the left back’s form, but says Spain international Monreal is providing stiff competition in that position.

“They have done really well,” he said. “[Choosing between them] is another difficult decision I have to make in every single game.

“I would say for Gibbs it's the same as it is for Oxlade-Chamberlain because he has improved tremendously this season.

“October and November was really a springboard for him where he moved forward. He's a candidate for higher up.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Rob Kelly 19 Apr 2013