Bacary Sagna still feels his best position is at right back, however has vowed to adapt the best he can should he be asked to fill in centrally again this season.
The Frenchman partnered Laurent Koscielny against Sunderland for single match last season earning plenty of plaudits for his powerful display. With captain Thomas Vermaelen out injured for another two months, Arsene Wenger trialled Sagna during the pre-season preparations on a number of occasions at centre half and he is relishing the challenge of learning a new position.
The 30-year-old has been in good form this summer and it bodes well for his performances ahead of this season after missing out last year on a proper pre-season which consequently led to some poor outings for the experienced Gunner.
He talked to Arsenal Player about his pre-season preparations and filling in at centre back:
I’m quite pleased [with my pre-season]. I was injured last season so I didn’t have any pre-season and I think you could see it in my performance.
I was not as sharp as I used to be so I’m very happy to start from the beginning and I’m looking forward to win something this season.
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Playing at centre back started last [season]. Laurent Koscielny was injured at Sunderland and the coach came to me asking if I wanted to play centre back because we had no cover. I just went for it and tried to adapt as quickly as possible.
On the pitch everything is different [when you play in a different position]. It’s OK for me. It’s different but I love learning.
I see myself as a right back but if I have to cover sometimes or play centre back, I will do it for the Club, my team and myself as well.
Wenger has certainly played Sagna’s pre-season smartly. The only negative part of using the Frenchman out of position is the lack of experience youngster Ignasi Miquel is gaining playing in his favoured central role. He’s had to play at the left back which has not suited the Spaniard well.
Carl Jenkinson is enjoying it however, but it has become a necessity with the likelihood of the Arsenal boss buying another centre half diminishing. Ashley Williams has been the most talked about centre back but nothing has come of it.
Sagna provides plenty of depth to the backline but he has yet to sign a new deal meaning he will leave for free next summer.
What do you think the priority should be this summer for the defence, working to get a new centre back in or tying Sagna down to a new deal? Or perhaps both? Comment below..