Kieran Gibbs has admitted that his transformation into a wing-back hasn’t been easy.

  • Gibbs has made just 10 Premier League appearances this season
  • Attempted two tackles and five clearances against Southampton and failed
  • Claims wing-back is more tiring than full-back

Arsene Wenger’s decision to adapt Arsenal’s formation to include three at the back instead of four has meant that Kieran Gibbs has been seeing a lot more game time.

The left-back has sat out for most of the season in favour of the more experienced Nacho Monreal but given Gibbs’ speed and ability to push forward, the manager has introduced him in the left ‘wing-back’ position.

While Gibbs still needs to work on this new role, he admitted after the 2-0 win away to Southampton on Wednesday night that it’s all about balance.

“You’re more tired [at the end of the game]!” he told Arsenal Player.

“You have to find the right balance and assess how the game is going.

“[You need to judge] which team is on top at each moment and whether to sit and join the back three, or push on and join the front three. I think it just important to keep the right balance, stay focused and that gives you the best chance.”

The 27-year-old only has a year left on his current Arsenal contract, prompting rumours that he could be heading for the exit this summer if he doesn’t get more minutes under his belt.

Perhaps this change in formation and introduction to a new role will encourage him to stay.