Why keeping Sagna should be a priority this summer

There has been a lot of speculation recently about who Arsenal will sign in the summer and the need to strengthen their squad after three consecutive defeats  in recent weeks has ended their challenge for honours this season. Who will stay at the Emirates and who will go is up for debate but there are a few Arsenal players that have been linked with other clubs recently that the club need to keep a hold of. Cesc Fabregas is the obvious example, with the Arsenal captain heavily linked with a move to Barcelona in the summer. The other player that Arsenal need to keep a hold of this summer is Bacary Sagna.

The French full-back has been linked with a summer move to Inter Milan as a replacement for Brazilian right back Maicon, who has been heavily linked with the likes of Real Madrid and Man City in the summer. Sagna was one of the Arsenal players who recently expressed their frustration over the Champions League exit to Barcelona, saying:

“Sometimes I think we play too much. We just want to do that and do not think about what is good for us – sometimes we just need to cut out the football, stop playing for a bit and just consider what will help us achieve what we want.”

Arsenal’s full backs have come under criticism at times this season, as they have been exposed by the flaws in Arsenal’s system. The three man midfield that Arsenal use doesn’t protect the likes of Sagna and Clichy and it has led to them being exposed at times, particularly in the game against Barcelona. Sagna said after the defeat at the Nou Camp that he struggled against Leo Messi and found it hard to defend the Argentine sensation.

So why do Wenger and Arsenal need to keep Sagna? He may not be a spectacular right back compared to his peers, such as Inter’s Maicon and Barcelona’s Dani Alves, but Sagna is a solid, dependable player for Arsenal. Quick, strong in the air, with superb tackling ability and great positional awareness, the Frenchman rarely gives the ball away and knows how to get the job done, choosing the quickest, easiest and most straightforward method to do it.

Sagna may not be as good as Eboue going forward and his crossing definitely needs work, but he is far better at defending and is one of the best right backs in the Premiership. This season, Sagna has played in 39 games in all competitions and has been virtually ever-present for Arsenal this season, only missing 3 games.

Arsenal have been linked with a move for Ajax’s Gregory van der Wiel in the summer, who is rumoured to be available for around the £10 million mark. I believe Arsenal should try their utmost to keep Sagna at the club in the summer and unless Inter offer crazy money for the right back, there is no reason to sell him. If they are that keen on van der Wiel coming to the club and following in former teammate Thomas Vermaelen’s footsteps, then they should entertain offers elsewhere. But selling Sagna is not a wise idea if Arsenal want to improve next season, as they need to keep their best players, and the France international is one of them.

What do you think – should Arsenal keep Sagna or let him go if the right offer comes in?

Follow Tom Jinks on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomjinks

 


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