Kieran Gibbs has heaped praise on fellow Arsenal left-back Nacho Monreal, and claims the competition between the pair only serves to benefit the team.
The England international was always considered the undisputed first choice left-back, and many fans were initially unhappy with the quality Monreal offered as his back-up.
The Spaniard has come on leaps and bounds this season however, and his displaced Gibbs in the starting lineup.
Monreal has shown that he is not only capable of performing superbly in the full-back position, but that he is also able to step in at centre-back when needed.
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He has been receiving rave reviews from fans and pundits alike this season, and Gibbs has joined the chorus of applause for his fellow Gunner.
“He’s a great guy and he’s been playing really well,” Gibbs told Arsenal’s official website.
“He’s adapted brilliantly to playing centre back and left back. It doesn’t sound it but it’s two completely different roles. When called upon he has done that really well.
“Every player wants to play. It’s that kind of environment where it’s quite enjoyable. In January we played once a week for a bit so we had a lot of training time together.
“There’s a bit of a hidden battle going on in the dressing room about winning training games which is good and healthy. The players really enjoy it.
“You should never take anything for granted playing for a club like this. You should never expect anything and nothing comes easily. The only way to get better is to put pressure on yourself. You have to set your own standards and that’s the best way.”
If Gibbs could keep fit for a full season he would stand a much better chance of nailing down the first spot, and could also potentially become the left-back for England.
He will have to get past Monreal first however, who is currently enjoying some of the best form of his career.