Clichy up for challenge

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Gael Clichy is up for the challenge of being Ashley Cole's long-term replacement at left back for Arsenal.

The French youngster is now back to fitness after spending several months on the sidelines with a broken foot.

Following Cole's departure to Chelsea in the summer, Clichy is likely to be handed the chance to prove he can be the England international's successor.

It is an opportunity the 21-year-old does not want to pass up as he looks to become a regular for both club and country.

"In the summer I saw the newspaper reports about Ashley possibly going to Chelsea and it is a shame that we have lost a good player and a friend," said Clichy.

"But I have to be honest and say that it is a big opportunity for me now that he has gone.

"I am up for it. I am here to progress every day and to be the number one left back at Arsenal and the French national team."

Having struggled with injury troubles last season, Clichy is aware of the need to take no risks with his fitness.

But he also admits that the current campaign could be the perfect chance for him to establish himself at Emirates Stadium.

Clichy added: "I am giving 100 percent in training, but I have also learned, after all the troubles last season, to listen to my body and to take care.

"I feel that this could be my season."