Arsene Wenger has expressed his admiration for Bacary Sagna’s encouraging performance at centre back against Sunderland last weekend, admitting he threw the Frenchman in the deep end at the last minute.
Sagna started centrally with Laurent Koscielny pulling up with a calf injury during the warm up at the Stadium of Light, and his brave, determined performance was instrumental to holding out Sunderland in the narrow 1-0 victory.
Wenger’s statements hint that there may be further action at centre half for the France international should the Gunners suffer further injury problems.
Wenger told Arsenal Player:
I always thought he could play there one day.
We pushed him in this position in training. What he showed in training was encouraging. He had no preparation. He was told 10 minutes before the start of the game and he dealt very well with that situation, so that’s very positive.
To be thrown in the deep end and perform has he did is testament to Sagna’s class. He has struggled with form since returning from his series of injuries, he has failed to be his old consistent self.
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But the outing against Sunderland will help to resurrect his season and inspire confidence not just in himself but in the fans and Arsenal hierarchy who must offer the 29-year-old a new deal.
He will however return to his original right back position for this weekends FA Cup tie against Blackburn due to Jenkinson’s suspension and Vermaelen’s recovery.