'The Toure family was so important to me'

Gael Clichy
Gael Clichy

Gael Clichy was just 16 when he first caught the attention of Arsene Wenger while playing for Cannes.  

The youngster quickly became an Arsenal player and relied on one team-mate in particular to help him through his first few months as a Gunner.

"The player who really helped me was Kolo Toure," Clichy told our In Lockdown podcast. "He was a young player himself, he was starting to play and he was for me one of the best that season and the years following in his position in the league.
"Him and his wife always made sure if I needed anything {I would get it]… food, shopping, driving to training, coming back. These are small things that you might think aren't important but I can assure you when you don't speak the language, when you don't drive, when you don't know if the driver is going to be there.
"Kolo was there for me to solve any situation. With French TV his brother came to help me out so the Toure family was so important. As the weeks went by I started to build more relationships with Thierry, Patrick, Robert... Pascal Cygan also helped me out.
"From the beginning, if I have to mention one or two players, it would have to be Jeremie Aliadiere and Kolo and for that I will be forever grateful. I believe that without them, even if the club helped me a lot, there are certain things they cannot do because they can't be with you 24/7 so the rest of the time when the club couldn't be there, those guys were there for me."

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