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Gaël Clichy clinches Assistant Manager job with France U21s

Ex-French international left-back and Arsenal hero Gaël Clichy has been named assistant manager of France’s U21 national team. The appointment sees Clichy reunite with former Gunners teammate Thierry Henry, who was recently unveiled as the French U21s’ new manager.

Clichy’s youth career began in Toulouse, where he played for a number of clubs before moving across the country to join AS Cannes’ academy. During that time, he caught the eye of Arsenal legend and then-manager Arsène Wenger, who would later contact Clichy directly to offer him a professional contract with the Premier League giants.

The Football Careers client made his debut for Arsenal in 2003 and quickly established himself as a vital part of Wenger’s squad. Clichy won the Premier League title with the club during the 2003—2004 “Invincibles” season, a result which established the club as the second first-division team in English football history to end a league season unbeaten. The title victory also made Clichy the youngest player to win a Premier League medal.

After eight years with the Gunners, Clichy made a high-profile move to Manchester City in 2011. His tenure with City lasted six years, during which time the club secured two Premier League title wins.

In 2017, Clichy left Manchester City to pursue a contract with Turkish side İstanbul Başakşehir. He helped Başakşehir clinch their first-ever league title in 2020, delivering the assist for the game’s only goal in the club’s win over Kayserispor. 

The 38-year-old’s most recent stint as a player took place in Switzerland with Swiss Super League side Servette, for whom he has made 79 appearances.

Clichy’s new position as Assistant Manager of France’s U21s will see him return to familiar territory: the former left-back has starred for his country both at U21s level and in the national team.

In his new role, Clichy’s experience in top-tier competitions and the knowledge he has gained under the tutelage of managerial masters like Wenger will be invaluable in developing the next generation of French football stars.

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