Clichy: Trophy quest forced me to leave


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Gaël Clichy is the player who declared in July 2009 after Emmanuel Adebayor's departure from Arsenal to Eastlands that: "I really think if you are a player who thinks only about money then you could end up at Manchester City. You have to think if you want to play for a big club and have your image or if you want to play for a good club and earn big money."

The £90,000-a-week contract on offer at City evidently caused a rethink, though Clichy insisted last night that he had left Arsenal for Roberto Mancini's club because he wanted to win trophies and suggested that manager Arsène Wenger's squad had "collapsed" last season because it lacked depth.

Clichy (right) said City – who hope to conclude the signing of Partizan Belgrade's Montenegrin centre-back Stefan Savic before the players fly to the United States on tour on Friday – had the depth of squad to win the silverware which has eluded his former club for six years. "I joined City because I wanted to win a lot of things," Clichy said. "[Last season] started well and we just collapsed at the end of the season after the [Carling Cup] final. Things can happen and you see the importance of having a big squad. We had a few players out [at Arsenal] and it's difficult for a team to cope without Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas at the same time. As a team you need a big squad if you want to go a long way. That's why I joined City – because I wanted to win a lot of things. You always progress with competition [for places]."

Wenger last night thanked Clichy, whose City salary represents a near-60 per cent increase on his pay in north London, "for eight years of terrific service to Arsenal, during which time he gave absolutely everything. He has grown and developed so much since joining us in 2003".

City's website, which screened an interview with Clichy, said the arrival of the 25-year-old, who has 45 Champions League appearances under his belt, presented a challenge to the current left-back Aleksandr Kolarov,