How Arsenal and Chelsea legend inspired Bristol Rovers surprise star

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Lewis Gordon has admitted he looked up to former Arsenal and Chelsea man Ashley Cole, and Brentford star Rico Henry in his development.

The Bristol Rovers man is coming to the end of his first season playing professional football, and has been a great pickup from the Gas’ recruitment team after his release from Brentford last summer.

The former Brentford man revealed that while he was at Arsenal’s academy, he admired fellow-left back Ashley Cole.

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“When I was growing up, obviously I saw a lot of Ashley Cole because I was an Arsenal fan,” Gordon said. “When he went to Chelsea he kind of stepped up his level even more.”

“His tenacity helped me a lot, I remember the video of him 1v1 against Ronaldo for England, and that was something that I strived towards because he was so hard to beat.”

The 22-year-old joined Brentford’s B-team in 2020 and took inspiration from another left-back, Rico Henry.

“Last year when I was at Brentford I was in and around the first team with Rico Henry who’s a very good player as well. You take those things from where you go and then you try to implement them into your game.”

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“I think he was playing in League One at one point and he’s come up to the Premier League now. He’s got the confidence in himself to know that he won’t get beat 1v1, then when he has the ball he has the composure to keep it.”

“He’ll get forward because he’s got speed and he can use that to his advantage.”

Gordon was released by Brentford last summer and after having trials with Premier League Crystal Palace’s u23s side, and the Gas - he was unveiled as a Bristol Rovers player in August, making his debut in a 4-0 victory over Burton Albion.

Having been the only recognised first team left back in the first half of the season due to Trevor Clarke’s injury the Gas were in need of depth and Calum Macdonald was signed from Stockport County on deadline day.

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Macdonald has only made a handful of appearances however, and the good form of Gordon as of late has kept the former Derby County man out of the side.

“Obviously Calum has come in and Calum’s a good player, we kind of push each other because we both want to be in the team, we have a good relationship with each other so I feel like I help him and he helps me.”

“I had a spell where I was in and out of the team due mostly to my own performances and I felt like I should have been playing so I wanted to show the gaffer that I had the ability to play. I was taking onboard everything he was saying to make myself better.”

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