Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Top 6 Replacements for Bacary Sagna

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentMay 6, 2012

Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Top 6 Replacements for Bacary Sagna

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    In the space of seven months, Bacary Sagna has suffered two leg breaks, and unfortunately in the same leg.

    It's hard to accept someone as classy as Sagna has been burdened with such bad luck. 

    Logic will tell you that Sagna will never be a world-class right-back again.

    However, keep Sagna in your thoughts and if there is a guy to defy the odds, hopefully it's him.

    Buying a right-back should be Arsene Wenger's No. 1 priority in the summer transfer window.

    Here are the top six replacements for Sagna.

6. Hiroki Sakai, Kashiwa Reysol, Age: 22

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    Hiroki Sakai is an athletic, strong, no-nonsense right-back who will transition well into Premier League football. 

    Hannover have submitted a €1 million bid for Sakai, who will challenge Steve Cherundolo for a starting position, according to

    In a 0-0 draw against Guangzhou Evergrande, arguably the richest club in East Asia, Sakai stopped the dangerous Muriqui. 

    In a 3-3 draw against Yokohama Marinos, Sakai dominated left-back Takashi Kanai, by scoring and providing an assist. 

5. Garry Bocaly, Montpellier, Age: 24

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    Garry Bocaly's career was in limbo during his Marseille days and a move to Montpellier is the reason for his good form. 

    Last month, he faced his old club and put on a wonderful display.

    Not only did he make a goal-line clearance, he stuffed the life out of André-Pierre Gignac—who can't buy an assist let alone a goal. 

4. Pavle Ninkov, Toulouse, Age: 27

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    You can't help but take note when someone like Pavle Ninkov wins the ball so many times. 

    The reason why he has the most Ligue 1 interceptions and highest interceptions-per-game average is he gambles like Archie Karas. 

    Ninkov reads the play excellently, has already rushed out when the opposing player is in the motion of making the pass, and more often than not, Ninkov intercepts the ball. 

    He has done that 126 times this season. 

    Just keep in mind there have been a few occasions where Ninkov hasn't intercepted the ball, thus exposing his entire right flank.

3. Ricardo van Rhijn, Ajax, Age: 20

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    What a prospect. 

    Ricardo van Rhijn is a natural centre-back, yet has looked great at right-back when I've watched him. 

    In a 2-0 win over PSV Eindhoven, he bullied the Eredivisie's most lethal inside-out forward in Dries Mertens. 

    Mertens has scored 26 goals and provided 22 assists this season, yet kept running into the brick wall that is van Rhijn. 

    Ajax have tied van Rhijn down to 2015 (common sense decision), but Arsenal should throw £7 million at the Dutch club and see if they take the bait. 

2. Tony Jantschke, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Age: 22

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    When you watch Borussia Mönchengladbach, you should think: Marco Reus, Marc-André ter Stegen, Dante, Juan Arango and Patrick Herrmann. 

    So don't worry if you haven't noticed Tony Jantschke a lot because that means he doesn't commit many errors. 

    He is solid and reliable which is why he is one of the Bundesliga's best right-backs .  

    The fact he has only accumulated five yellow cards whilst winning the ball 202 times shows how disciplined he is. 

1. Mathieu Debuchy, Lille, Age: 26

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    Mathieu Debuchy is 26 but he has already played nine seasons of professional football. 

    In terms of realistic right-back options, who else has a body of work that can compare to Debuchy? 

    His tackling is good and he loves bombing forward. 

    I was concerned with his lackluster defending in a 4-4 draw against Nice, where François Clerc, who was playing left-back that day, managed to score. 

    In a 5-4 loss to Bordeaux, Nicolas Maurice-Belay ran circles around Debuchy, David Rozehnal and Aurélien Chedjou. Left-back Benoît Trémoulinas also provided an assist on Debuchy's flank. 


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