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Where will Sagna fit in at Arsenal?



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RearGunner from ArseRant writes:

The news that I’ve been expecting for a while has arrived – we have indeed officially signed Bacary Sagna, a move that I’ve voiced my confusion over and one that intrigues me greatly for he is a right back, or at least, that’s the position in which he’s played predominately throughout his career, and we already have Eboue, Hoyte, and Kerrea Gilbert, newly returned from his loan spell at Cardiff.

I wasn’t certain of the former’s future actually, harvesting my own reservations about whether we should be in the market for a replacement. Eboue started the season well, performance wise, but his antics and behavior on the pitch was intolerable, his form then dipped also. All thoughts of getting rid were put to rest however when Eboue and Hoyte were both signed to long term deals. But here we are, having signed a new right back and having shelled out too good a deal for a player who will merely be a back up. Wenger had the following to say on his new purchase:

We are delighted to have signed Bacary Sagna. He is a very capable defender and has played consistently well for Auxerre in recent seasons. He plays mainly at right back, but can also play along the defence or in midfield. He is strong, quick and enjoys defending but also has a good offensive side to his game. He has a fighting spirit and will be a very good addition to our squad.

The suggestion that he can play along the defense or in midfield hints that Sagna’s role next season might not be limited to right back, which sounds about right. I’d guess that Sagna will also be used as cover for Clichy (Traore not yet being ready) and maybe additional midfield cover.

Where Eboue is concerned, I’m not sure he’ll be all too happy about playing second fiddle though I think that’ll be down to who excels more. Sagna I suppose is bought in to compete with Eboue for the right back slot while providing cover elsewhere. There’s also talk that Eboue could be moved up the wing, which could work though with Walcott and Hleb available, I can only think his appearances in such a role will be rather limited.

As I say, interesting and yet confusing stuff. I do wonder what Wenger will do with the two of them when the season kicks off. Meanwhile, Sagna himself had something to say and that was:

It is great to be joining Arsenal and I’m excited to be playing alongside many great players. I know Abou Diaby from our time together at Auxerre and also Gael Clichy and Mathieu Flamini from the French Under-21 team. Also Arsène Wenger is a major reason why I have signed for Arsenal. He is an excellent manager with a fantastic record and I am really looking forward to working with him. I’m also looking forward to playing at Emirates Stadium and winning trophies for the Club and all the supporters.

All good. It’s nice that he knows a few of the players already and seems to get on with Diaby rather well, from what I’ve heard, in particular.

With the arrival of Sagna though it makes me think that someone will have to make way. We have Hoyte and Gilbert too you see. The obvious one to go would be the latter. On loan to Cardiff next season, I didn’t see all too much of him, but what I heard was positive, some going as far to suggest that he’s a better option than Hoyte. Still, Hoyte improved a lot last season and was very recently given a new long term deal. Despite rumors of Reading and a couple of others sniffing around, perhaps preparing to test our resolve, he’s a decent player who can provide additional right back and left back cover. We might see him leave next season, I think, merely because he’ll want to seek first team football but for now, the obvious candidate for the departure lounge would surely be Gilbert, who’ll probably be farmed out on loan again with a view to the move being made a permanent one.

For now, I can only guess. Next season I suppose all will become clear. Welcome to the new lad though. Wish him all the success at the club I do.

Read more: Bacary Sagna – an Arsenal player.