This was the news all Arsenal fans had been dreading to hear for months. Bacary Sagna has admitted that he does not think he will be a Gunner next season.
Goal.com reports that the Frenchman – who is of Senegalese decent – recently spoke the French radio station Europe1. The player said:
I’m out of contract, as everyone knows. I still consider myself as an Arsenal player at present, but actually we had a small problem to agree [with the club], and I don’t think I’ll stay at Arsenal at the end of the season.
It is a mixed season, we started very well, but we could have done better. Injuries have hurt us, especially those of Ramsey, Walcott. At this level, it does not forgive.
This may not come as a massive surprise to a lot of people, after all the player is of course out of contract at the end of the season, but a lot of fans felt this scenario was different to the van Persie and Nasri situation. Sagna has been an Arsenal player for 7 years and during that time he has, unlike the other two, consistently been a fantastic player for Arsenal. This is proved by the fact he managed to break into the PFA Team of the Year in his debut season, 2007-08 (along with then Gunners Gael Clichy, Cesc Fabregas and Emmanuel Adebayor).
To the point – Despite this news, the same site reports that, rather uncharacteristically, Arsenal are moving swiftly to replace Sagna with another African right back Serge Aurier. The Ivorian has had a fantastic season with Ligue 1 club Toulouse, and the 21-year-old is likely to be heading to the World Cup, playing alongside fellow Ivorians Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure, Cheick Tiote and former Gunners Kolo Toure and Gervinho.
According to Goal.com Wenger wants deals in place for two players before the world cup begins, even if the formalities are not agreed, and he is desperate for Aurier to be playing in the red and white of North London come the start of next season.
Here you can see a video of Serge Aurier’s best moments. From the video it appears that this is the man to replace Sagna. He appears to be a handful down the right hand side and really contributes to his teams attack. Of course, we must ensure that our teams defence does not suffer. From what I understand, however, the fullback works hard to recover his position well if his team loses possession.
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Squawka has an interesting comparison of each players statistics. Based purely on statistics, we should give Sagna the boot and bring in Aurier as quickly as we can. Of course, however, the statistics do not take into account the fact that Sagna plays in a far more competitive league than Aurier and the fact that Sagna is used to playing for Arsenal. That being said, it does help give us an understanding of what Aurier can do and would bring to the squad.
Although I am disappointed by the departure of Sagna, I do feel that he is asking for a lot of money in a replaceable position. He will be missed, however if Aurier is signed we will have an exciting new player in the squad who has a lot of potential.
What do you Gooners think? Is Aurier somebody you would like to see on our right flank next season?