Arsenal should target West Ham United defender Aaron Cresswell if Kieran Gibbs leaves the club at the end of the season.
Gibbs, who has lost his place in Arsene Wenger’s starting line-up to Spaniard Nacho Monreal this term, will reportedly be sold in the summer with Lorient’s Raphael Guerreiro eyed as his replacement.
However Cresswell has been in sensational form for West Ham this year, and that he already possesses plenty of Premier League experience would make him the ideal acquisition if Gibbs departs.
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For years Gibbs was touted as the heir to the thrones left behind by Ashley Cole and Gael Clichy, yet the left-back has never realised his potential and has started just three league games all season.
Monreal was in fine form at the end of last year and has carried that over into this campaign, and has been one of the mainstays of a back four often consisting of Hector Bellerin, Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.
Newcastle United has been touted as a potential destination for the out-of-form defender, but much may depend on whether new manager Rafa Benitez can secure them another season in the top flight.
Gibbs is likely to miss out on a place in Roy Hodgson’s squad for the European Championships in the summer, with Cresswell one of a number of players in contention to make the squad.
West Ham are currently pushing for Champions League football under Slaven Billic, who has thrived since succeeding Sam Allardyce last season, but they could lose Cresswell if they fail to pip both Manchester clubs to a place in the top four.
The 26-year-old is in his second season at the club after signing from Championship outfit Ipswich Town in 2014, and will be one of their most crucial players when they move to the Olympic Stadium in the summer.
Though he is yet to earn an international call-up, like teammate and club captain Mark Noble, the defender has been sensational all season and is driving the club to new heights under their new manager.
If Arsenal do lose Gibbs in the summer then they will have a void in need of plugging, with a shortage of world-class full-backs complicating matters.
Arsenal need to make sure they get the right man if they are to challenge for the highest honours in the future. An upgrade on Gibbs is essential, and Cresswell would be the perfect man for the job.
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