Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has admitted he decided to sell Gael Clichy to Manchester City so Kieran Gibbs could establish himself as the club's first choice at left back.
Gibbs has persistently struggled with injury at the Emirates but recovered from a muscular injury to feature in Arsenal's 4-1 victory over Galatasaray on Wednesday.
His performance sufficiently impressed England manager Roy Hodgson, who named the 25-year-old in his England squad for upcoming European Championship qualifiers against San Marino and Estonia.
After years of solidarity at left back for the Gunners where Ashley Cole and then Clichy held the position as their own, Gibbs was handed the task of replicating the continuity in that position following the Frenchman's move to the Etihad Stadium in 2011.
While the decision to sell one his first team players to a title rival was questioned, Wenger insists he had no qualms about offloading Clichy knowing that Gibbs was ready to step into his place.
"I have said to him [Gibbs] many times," Wenger said. "We try always to show him confidence and, look, I let Gael Clichy go [to Manchester City] because he was a young English left back. That's the main reason I let Clichy go. I wanted to give him a chance."
Cole's decision to retire from international duty has left a void at left back in Hodgson's side. While Everton's Leighton Baines assumed the first team role at the World Cup, Manchester United starlet Luke Shaw is another tipped to make the position his own over the years. But with Gibbs now beginning to "trust his body" Wenger believes the Gunners full back can now begin to deliver an impact on the international scene.
"Ashley Cole, for a long time, was no discussion. Now, it is a bit more open. And I think Kieran will be recognised if he performs like he did on Saturday [against Tottenham]," Wenger said, speaking before Thursday's squad announcement.
"He looks to be that he is going into second gear now and he realises that he can trust his body."