Gilberto: Ash exit hard to take

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Arsenal vice-captain Gilberto has told skysports.com that Ashley Cole's controversial deadline day switch to Chelsea was ‚Çÿvery hard to accept'.

After a bitter falling out with his Gunners paymasters, the England left back finally completed a move to Stamford Bridge, which had been in the pipeline for nearly 18 months after his illicit meeting with Arsenal's Premiership rivals.

The loss of a player who had been a lifelong Gunners fan, as well as being tipped as a future captain by boss Arsene Wenger, was a huge blow for the club and was accelerated by his forthcoming autobiography which is expected to contain heavy criticism of the Emirates Stadium powerbrokers.

Whilst Arsenal received £5 million and French international William Gallas in exchange for Cole, Gilberto admits Wenger's side will miss Chelsea's latest high-profile acquisition.

However, the Brazilian midfielder believes it is necessary to respect the decision of all parties in the controversial transfer.

‚Ç£First we brought a few players to help us, but of course we miss important players like Ashley Cole,‚Ç¥ Gilberto told skysports.com.

‚Ç£It's very hard to accept that, but we need to respect his decision and respect the decision of the club.

‚Ç£But they brought some good players as well to help us.

‚Ç£You know if you are not happy you need to move on, we wish all the best to them, Ashley Cole and [Jose Antonio] Reyes, because both are such nice guys.‚Ç¥

Spanish forward Reyes also left under something of a cloud as he joined Real Madrid on loan with Julio Baptista coming to The Emirates Stadium in exchange on another deadline day deal.

The summer period was frequently punctuated by quotes purportedly stemming from Reyes, that appeared in the Spanish press, which made clear his desire to move to the Bernabeu.

However, the former Sevilla star always issued counter-claims via the club's official website to deny he made the statements and was hankering after a move to Fabio Capello's star-studded side.

Fellow striker Emmanuel Adebayor had criticised Reyes in August, stating the forward ‚Çÿshould not be talking about other teams', but Gilberto has faith that the Spanish international was respectful to the North London side and did not publicly state his desire to leave.

‚Ç£To be honest we never know if it's true or not what he said because sometimes if you say something and you read the papers it is completely different to what you said,‚Ç¥ Gilberto added.

‚Ç£To be honest I don't believe that he said that because he is such a nice guy. I wish him the best of luck.‚Ç¥