Gael Clichy

Gael Clichy
NameGael Clichy
BirthdayJuly 6, 1985



Clichy moved to Man City in July 2011 to open a new chapter of his career, the last of Arsenal’s 2003-04 ‘Invincibles to leave the club.

Spotted as a talented but unheralded 17-year-old at Cannes, Clichy joined Arsenal in 2003 and eventually supplanted Ashley Cole as the club’s left-back of choice.

Such was the defender’s promise, Wenger was happy to allow Giovanni van Bronckhorst to join Barcelona in the summer of 2003, safe in the knowledge that in Clichy, he had the perfect replacement for Cole. When acting as understudy to his English colleague, Clichy still made 12 league appearances as Arsenal went the season unbeaten in 2003-04, displaying his promise whenever afforded the chance.

Clichy made sporadic appearances in the next two seasons, his input restricted by a series of foot injuries, but Cole’s acrimonious departure to Chelsea in the summer of 2006 gave Clichy the chance he had been craving and he made 27 Premier League appearances in the 2006-07 campaign to cement his reputation as one of the finest full-backs in England, further endearing himself to an Arsenal support that were desperate for Cole to be forgotten.

Comparisons with his erstwhile colleague continued and it could be argued that Clichy finally shook off Cole’s shadow when finishing ahead of the Chelsea man in the 2007-08 PFA Team of the Year. However, towards the end of that season it was Clichy’s error that allowed Birmingham to score a late equaliser at St Andrew’s in February, sparking a slump in Arsenal’s form that denied them the title.

Persistent back problems restricted Clichy’s progress somewhat but at his peak he was still viewed as one of the best in the game. However, with the emergence of Kieran Gibbs and his contract with only one year left, Arsenal allowed him to join Man City for around £7 million in 2011.

Clichy was finally able to celebrate winning the title again in hsi first season at City.

Strengths: Clichy possess almost unrivalled stamina and his ability to go full pelt for 90 minutes is remarkable. Quick in the tackle and willing to drive forward, he is a dynamic full-back and performs to a consistently impressive level.

Weaknesses: Clichy can be accused of a lack of concentration at times and that has cost his teams at important moments in recent seasons. He is also somewhat injury-prone and can be caught out if offered little protection from the man in front of him.

Career high: Winning the Premier League unbeaten in the 2003-04 season as Clichy became the youngest player to win the title, aged 18 years, 294 days.

Career low: Conceding the late penalty that saw Arsenal draw 2-2 at Birmingham towards the end of the 2007-08 season. It was the game in which Eduardo broke his leg, William Gallas threw a strop and Arsenal’s title challenge imploded.

Style: Dynamic, athletic, committed, a modern full-back.

Quotes: “It’s funny, but I am a vastly different player since I moved to City. In my head, it is a turning point in my career. I wanted to see where it could take me. I do not regret it for a moment, as I have gained in self-confidence. Gael Clichy, 2012.

Trivia: Clichy almost died aged 15 when his heart stopped for 20 seconds during an operation. He had torn off a finger when vaulting a fence and needed surgery to have it reattached.

Gael Clichy