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Gael has put all his injury problems behind him and become one of the most consistent players in the Arsenal side. He became the youngest player to win a Premiership winners’ medal in 2004 at the age of 18. But it is worth remembering that in the two years since that, the former Cannes left back has suffered a couple of serious stress fractures.Once settled into the side, his pace made him difficult to beat defensively and difficult to stop offensively. He played 40 games in 2006/07 and it is hard to remember a poor one. At the start of the current campaign he was awaiting his first Arsenal goal and his first French cap. Surely both will have arrived by the end of the season. There seems to be no stopping Gael as he continued his record of featuring in every Premier League game. He was also on song in Europe and moved closer to a full French cap with a man of the match performance at Old Trafford. Gael suffered a nasty gash to the head in the draw with Middlesbrough but his late withdrawal from that game was the only time he missed any action for the Gunners in March. His most telling contribution came in the match with Aston Villa - his perfect cross leading to the equaliser. Gael was also included in the France squad late in the month, but did not play. Gael’s only missed one game - at Old Trafford, when he was an unused substitute. The Frenchman was handed an international debut with his country's 'B' team — just reward for his sterling performances at club level all season. Gael continued his run of being the only Gunner to play in every Premier League game this season. The Frenchman remains solid at the back and weighed in with two assists when he went forward. Another stellar month for Gael as the Frenchman registered a number of assists from left-back. The Frenchman played every minute of Arsenal’s league campaign as they ended the year at the top of the table. Missing through injury in the final game of the month, Gael was otherwise an ever-present. His fine form continued and he proved to be a valuable outlet on the left, but also steadied the ship in defence. Gael shows little sign of slowing after a frenetic start to the season. The left-back continues to be a hugely impressive aspect of the Arsenal team, playing all but the final 16 minutes of October’s Premier League and Champions League games. He is yet to score but came incredibly close against Steaua when his deflected cross appeared to cross the line.
Signed by Arsène Wenger in the summer of 2003 from AS Cannes for £250,000, Clichy plays the position of left back for Arsenal, although he had to be content with playing understudy to England international Ashley Cole during his first three seasons at the club.His 12 appearances in the Premiership in Arsenal's victorious 2003–04 season were enough to earn him a winners medal. In doing so, he set the record for youngest winner of a Premiership champions medal.After Ashley Cole suffered a fractured foot in October 2005, it seemed that Clichy would earn some valuable first-team action during Cole's time out; indeed, with rumours linking Cole with a transfer to Spain, it seemed that Clichy could make a strong case for continual first-team action. However Clichy ironically suffered an injury identical to Cole's, leaving Arsenal with a crisis at the left-back position.Clichy returned to first team action on April 25, 2006 in a Champions League semi-final against Villarreal, and came on as a substitute for the injured Mathieu Flamini. Clichy suffered a re-occurrence of his injury and missed the end of the season including the Champions League Final, and would not return to the first team until 14 October 2006.When Cole left for Chelsea in August 2006, Clichy became the first choice left-back at Arsenal. As Cole's understudy, Clichy made 62 appearances (including 39 in the league) for Arsenal in three seasons. In the season which followed Cole's departure, Clichy made 27 league appearances in a total of 40, and has since become Arsenal's first-choice left back. In the 2007–08 season, Clichy was selected in the PFA Team of the Year as left back. This fine form was rewarded on 20 June 2008, when he signed a new "long-term" contract. He came in second in the Arsenal fans' poll for Player of the Season. He captained Arsenal for the first time against Barnet in Arsenal's first preseason game of 2008–09.

International career

In 2007 he was called up for the French national squad. He was called up again in January 2008, for the French game against Spain, and the 5 February 2008 B friendly against Congo DR. Despite an excellent season with Arsenal, Clichy was omitted from Raymond Domenech’s provisional Euro 2008 France squad[1]

Near death experience

In his early years, after climbing over a metal fence, a ring he was wearing got caught and tore his finger off. He had a seven-hour operation to sew it back on, but during the operation, his heart stopped beating due to a problem with his lungs. After 15 seconds it restarted and, thankfully, he recovered. Doctors described it as a "miracle" that Clichy survived. His mother had the resources to help him recover after years of experience in medical school as a nurse.

Style of play

Clichy is one of the most attacking full backs in the Premier League. As one of the fastest players in the Premiership, he is never hesitant to overlap his left midfielder, usually Tomáš Rosický, and join in with the attack. Gaël contributes to a lot of goals via crosses from advanced positions on the left wing. His dribbling has improved immensely since his arrival at Arsenal and the natural width provided by himself is indispensable in helping Arsenal to attack. Defensively, Clichy has matured with every match. Although he can be light on the tackle and get caught out of position due to his attacking nature his tackling has vastly improved recently and so has his positioning so he gets caught out of position less.

Career honours

Arsenal
  • Winner
    • FA Premier League Winner: 2003–04
    • FA Cup: 2004–05
  • Runner-up
    • Champions League Runner-Up: 2005–06
Personal

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