Kieran Gibbs believes he has become more influential thanks to a “strong year” with Arsenal.
After lifting the FA Cup in May, the defender was rewarded for his impressive form with the No 3 shirt, cementing his position as Arsenal’s first-choice left back.
Gibbs also scored the equaliser in the Gunners’ win at Anderlecht and was recalled to the England squad by Roy Hodgson for the first time in nearly a year.
"I feel like I’ve shown what I can do now and I feel like I’ve proved my assets to the team"
“I’ve played a lot of football so I have to take that as a positive and if you look at the games I’ve played, it’s fair to say that I’ve had a strong year,” he told Arsenal Player.
“I feel stronger, I feel I have more of an impact on the team when I play. I still want to get more assists and goals but I feel I’ve improved on that. I want to help get more clean sheets.
“I feel like I’ve shown what I can do now and I feel like I’ve proved my assets to the team. Now it’s just about my personal goals and what I want to do with the team.
“The difference between being a good player - and knowing you’re a good player - and being a great player is small and takes a lot of hard work. That’s what I want to work on becoming and the only way to do that is to win things. That’s my aim.
“[The Anderlecht goal was] important more than anything for the team and the competition. We’ve got players that can make the difference at any stage of the game. That result and the way it happened will help us realise that we can win games at any stage.”
Gibbs’ three England caps towards the end of the year doubled his tally since his debut four years ago, and he is relishing the chance to make his mark on the international stage.
“I don’t have to explain what it’s like to play for your country,” the 25-year-old said. “Being back involved with the boys and being part of that team is good. It’s an exciting team to be a part of so that’s good as well.”
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