Stuart MacFarlane / Arsenal FC / Getty
The Hornets may find shaking hands over personal terms a little more difficult, however, despite 27-year-old Gibbs dropping further down the pecking order in north London since the summer arrival of Sead Kolasinac.
Gibbs is just one of a host of Arsenal players in the final year of their contracts. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain appears set to take advantage of approaching the end of his stay by reportedly rejecting new terms and moving on to Chelsea or Liverpool. Alexis Sanchez is believed to be hankering for a move to Manchester City, and Mesut Ozil is yet to sign new paperwork to take him beyond June 2018.
Watford’s first-choice left-back to begin the Premier League campaign, Jose Holebas, is currently serving a suspension after receiving two yellow cards in Tuesday’s shock 3-2 home defeat to Bristol City in the League Cup. Gibbs would presumably instantly fill that void, underpinned with experience from three FA Cup titles since making his professional debut for Arsenal in 2007.
His increasingly peripheral role at Arsenal has been detrimental to his England career. The Lambeth lad last represented his country in a friendly against France in November 2015, and was overlooked in preference of Ryan Bertrand and Aaron Cresswell in Gareth Southgate’s latest squad. Given that the World Cup is set to be staged in Russia next summer, Gibbs needs first-team football to win back his national team spot.
New manager Marco Silva is quietly overseeing a revolution at Vicarage Road. Will Hughes and Nathaniel Chalobah were signed cheaply to strengthen the midfield, and although Andre Gray and Richarlison were more expensive – around £18.5 million and £11 million, respectively – their first two performances have been encouraging.
Fourth-placed Watford welcomes league newcomer Brighton & Hove Albion in Saturday’s slate of fixtures.