Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs will not let his own World Cup aspirations get in the way of the club’s quest to end their trophy drought.
Having experienced yet another injury-hit season, Gibbs managed to string together a run in the side towards the end of the season, culminating in 29 starts for the club despite the arrival of £8.5m signing Nacho Monreal to provide competition for the left-back berth.
However, Gibbs was left out of Roy Hodgson’s side for the end-of-season friendlies against the Republic of Ireland and Brazil, but he insists that although he has one eye on getting back into the national squad for next year’s tournament, he must maintain his good performances at club level first.
"It has been my best season so far,” he said in the July edition of the official Arsenal magazine. “It is a stepping stone for me and now I just need to build and stay fit. I am sure I can do more for the (Arsenal) team.
"I was hopeful of getting into the England squad (this summer), but I was not called up. I will just relax now and make sure I prepare myself physically for next season, ensuring that I go into it with a clear head.
"I am really looking forward to it and hopefully we can all make it a special one."
After staging a stunning 10-match unbeaten run in the Premier League, Arsenal saw off rivals Tottenham to the final Champions League spot, but fans off the club are desperate for success having not won a trophy since the 2005 FA Cup triumph.
Gibbs believes that they must carry this momentum into the new season as they face an early Champions League tie with a two-legged play-off in August to reach the group stages.
"The dramatic finale to the season made us even stronger, and we will be going into the new one head on," the former England under-21 international added.
"We are aware that we need to produce next season and have to make sure we are confident about dealing with that expectation."
Arsenal have already secured the signature of striker Yaya Sanogo on a free transfer, but their pursuit of Real Madrid’s Gonzalo Higuain made significant progress yesterday with the confirmation of Carlo Ancelotti as the new Madrid boss combined with Juventus’ agreement with Manchester City over the transfer of Carlos Tevez.
Juventus were reported to be after Higuain’s services, but they have made a move for his Argentinian teammate Tevez instead in a £10m deal. The move leaves Arsenal as the likely destination for Higuain, but Arsene Wenger is set to continue the spending as Arsenal attempt to strengthen their squad.
Everton’s Marouane Fellaini is believed to be on the Frenchman’s radar, and they continue to be linked with Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney as his future remains unclear at Old Trafford.
The Gunners certainly have the funds for such moves, with striker Nicklas Bendtner in talks with Eintracht Frankfurt and Marouane Chamakh attracting interest from Levante and Bordeaux.
Hannover are set to make Johan Djourou’s loan deal a permanent move, while the north London club have already announced that Andrey Arshavin, Denilson and Sebastien Squillaci will leave the club on a free transfer at the end of this month.