Kieran Gibbs has been drafted into the England squad ahead of their game against Slovenia this week.
Gibbs comes in after Ryan Bertrand picked up an injury against Malta, leaving Danny Rose as the only natural full back in the squad.
It’s like that Danny Rose will start for England despite Gibbs’ call up, though it does show that Kieran is still very much in the international frame should a few injuries occur. The 27-year-old has struggled for first team football at Arsenal because of the form of Nacho Monreal, who himself was handed a call-up to the Spanish national team this week.
Gibbs joins Arsenal duo Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott in the England squad. We wish him all the best should he feature against Slovenia.
Gibbs has predominantly featured as a substitute for Arsenal this season, coming off the bench and playing in a left wing role, often offering protection to Monreal in the latter stages of games to help see them out. With Rose likely to start against Slovenia, it will be interesting to see if Southgate uses Gibbs in a similar way should England look to protect a lead at the end of a game.
Aged 27, Gibbs is in the ‘prime’ of his career, but he is not playing football regularly. Many expected him to leave this summer, but he seems happy to wait a little longer to make his breakthrough.