Sagna offers encouragement to Gibbs

18 November 2010 04:00

Bacary Sagna has declared Kieran Gibbs the natural successor to Ashley Cole as England's left-back, despite helping France spoil his Arsenal team-mate's full international debut.

Sagna got the better of Gibbs in Les Bleus' friendly victory at Wembley on Wednesday night, bursting past the 21-year-old to set up his country's second goal in a 2-1 win.

But the Gunners right-back was more than impressed by his team-mate's performance in what was a youthful England side, and said: "He did very well. It was difficult to go through the left side. He caused us many, many problems with his pace on the pitch. Everyone can be proud of him."

He added: "He's a great player and he will be the next (England) left-back."

But Sagna's appreciation of Gibbs' display and his friendship with his fellow defender will not prevent him rubbing in the result during Arsenal training this week.

He said: "He's an amazing guy. I love him, I love him.

"He's just normal; he tries to be as normal as possible, as humble as possible.

"He always gives 100%. I just wanted him to play well and he did well.

"Now I can put some jokes his way."

Source: PA