"When Ashley left, it was the best thing that could have happened for me," he told the Daily Mail. "He left and the stage was there for me. It was also a massive confidence boost that the boss didn't buy another left-back. I just had to play a few games well to show everyone that I could play there and now, here I am. I will try to be even better than Ashley because it's my objective to be remembered as one of the great Arsenal left-backs.
"Ashley was a symbol of Arsenal, being a London boy and the only player [at that time] who really came through the academy, and that's why it will be difficult for the fans to accept him coming back. If they decide to boo him, I would understand that. I hope he will handle it because he's a good guy but I just want the fans to help the team to get the three points. It's going to be difficult and we will need them."