Gael Clichy has become Roberto Mancini’s first signing of the summer after penning a four-year deal with the Blues.
The French left-back successfully passed a medical and joins City from Arsenal where he spent almost eight years of his career. He will now challenge Aleksandar Kolarov for a regular spot in Mancini’s starting line-up.
Clichy, 25, has a wealth of Premier League experience having played a total of 264 times for the Gunners since he signed from Cannes in August 2003.
Rated as one of the best full-backs in Europe, he also has pace in abundance and has been described as a ‘tenacious tackler’. It will not have been lost on Mancini that his new signing has also made 45 appearances in the Champions League.
Clichy has won 10 caps for France to date, the last of which was in 2010 and he was the last member of Arsenal’s famous ‘Invincibles’ team, who won the 2003/04 Premier League without losing a single game.
That triumph earned the then 18-year-old a championship medal which, in turn, made him the youngest recipient in Premier League history.
Clichy spent the first half of his career with Arsenal as cover for Ashley Cole, but won his first-team spurs after Cole’s move to Chelsea, becoming a regular in Arsene Wenger’s side over the past five seasons.
His squad number for Arsenal was No.22 which is currently held by another left-back at City – Greg Cunningham – his chosen shirt number for the 2011/12 season will be announced in due course.
The Frenchman should feel at home quickly with the Blues, having played alongside Patrick Vieira, Kolo Toure, Stuart Taylor and Emmanuel Adebayor during his days in North London.
Speaking of his move to Eastlands, Clichy said: “I’m really happy to be joining such a great club. I hope I can add to the quality we already have here because we have a fantastic squad who I believe will continue to get better.
“I can’t wait to get started and I think anything is possible with this team.”
Clichy also revealed that in joining the Blues, he will be re-joining two of his best friends in football.
“When I first came to England, it was Kolo Toure and Patrick Vieira who took me under their wing and really looked after me,” he said.
“Kolo would pick me up and drop me at home and his wife used to cook meals for me. Patrick was always there to offer me advice so it’s wonderful to be back and at the same club they are at.”
Clichy will be officially unveiled during the forthcoming tour of the USA and Canada
Watch our new signing's first interview as a City player on CityTV