Kieran Gibbs 'incredibly excited' for new Premier League season ahead of Arsenal's kick-off against Crystal Palace

Left-back says FA Cup triumph has lifted a weight off squad's shoulders

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The Independent Football

Kieran Gibbs has said he is “incredibly excited” for the new season as Arsenal begin the Premier League with a squad that looks “deeper” than it has done in recent years.

The 24-year-old left-back also said the FA Cup victory in May, Arsenal’s first trophy after nine barren years, has helped lift a weight off the side’s shoulders.

“I am incredibly excited for the new season, because we have made important signings and the boys are feeling positive after the wins in the FA Cup final and Community Shield respectively,” Gibbs wrote on

“We hope our win against Manchester City is a sign of intent. Winning two trophies lifted a weight off our shoulders, but now it is important to kick on and continue improving as a team.

“It was a wonderful feeling to win the FA Cup, especially after the long wait.”

Gibbs is confident in this Arsenal squad and has been impressed by new signings Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers, but is not quite ready to say Arsenal will be title challengers.

Arsenal begin their Premier League campaign by hosting now manger-less Crystal Palace, who saw Tony Pulis leave the club by mutual consent on Thursday.

“Only time will tell if we are in the running for the Premier League. As the season goes on, we will have more of an indication as to our aims in the league and elsewhere.”

The trio of new signings played in the impressive 3-0 win over Manchester City at Wembley and Gibbs says they have already made their mark on the training field and in the dressing room.

Gibbs says the FA CUp win has lifted a weight off Arsenal's shoulders

“Alexis Sanchez has only been with us for a couple of weeks, but obviously we have seen his quality and we were aware of his talent before he arrived.

“He is a world-class player with a fantastic attitude. He is very humble and extremely determined to succeed for the club and the team.

“Calum Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy have also started impressively. Obviously, the quality of Bacary Sagna and Thomas Vermaelen was always going to be missed, but Calum and Mathieu look to have the ability to step into their boots.”

The 24-year-old added: “More players have arrived than departed and so the squad looks deeper than in previous seasons.

“There is now more competition for places, which is important for the team throughout the year. Hopefully, everyone can stay fit and well, because it should raise the performance of each individual player.”

Alexis Sanchez has been fantastic since arriving

Despite being Arsenal’s first choice left-back since Gael Clichy left for City in 2011, Gibbs has just three England caps to his name, because of the continued excellence of Ashley Cole, who is now retired, and the emergence of Leighton Baines and teenager Luke Shaw.

Gibbs has been handed the No 3 shirt and will look to push Baines and Shaw for a place in Roy Hodgson’s England squad now Cole has retired from international football.

“I want to continue my form on from last season,” he added. “I feel strong and hope I can stay fit, produce more assists and look to be more effective going forward.”

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