Clichy: Ashley must stay
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Arsenal starlet Gael Clichy would be devastated to see Ashley Cole join Chelsea.Arsenal starlet Gael Clichy would be devastated to see fellow left back Ashley Cole join rivals Chelsea.
Following allegations of an illegal approach for the England defender, Clichy has affirmed his hopes that Cole will stay, and was reluctant to speculate what such a move could represent for his own career.
"All I can say is I think Ashley Cole is the best left-back in the world," Clichy told the Evening Standard.
"It would be a real blow to lose him, especially if it was to see him join a rival.
"That would be hard to swallow. I hope he stays because he's a great player."
The 19-year-old has deputised admirably for Cole on many occasions, and it is a testament to his own ability that Cole was rarely missed on such occasions.
However, since subduing Cristiano Ronaldo at Euro 2004, Cole has grown immeasurably in stature whilst Clichy has seen his chances restricted by injury.
The French youngster will no doubt have future chances to re-stake his claim for a first team berth should Cole leave, and believes that hard work on the training pitch is the best approach to impress Arsene Wenger.
"I'm not getting carried away with thoughts of what might happen if Ashley does leave.
"Would Mr Wenger put his faith in me? Or buy another player? I really don't know.
"The best thing for me to do is just keep my head down and keep working hard in training, to show the coach I am ready for when he needs me."