Serge Aurier and Potential Replacements for Bacary Sagna at Arsenal
According to Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail, talks between Sagna and the club over a proposed contract extension have reached something of an impasse:
The 31-year-old has already rejected two offers to stay, the latest a two-year option on the same £60,000-a-week he earns at the moment.
Make-or-break talks are in the diary but Sagna wants three years at more than £90,000 a week, plus a £6m signing-on fee to be paid in annual installments.
Inevitably, Wenger and his team of scouts have cast their eyes toward the summer market and securing a potential Sagna replacement.
In this piece, we take a look at four options to replace Arsenal’s experienced full-back.
According to Zarif Rasul of The Mirror, Arsenal have already earmarked 21-year-old Toulouse right-back Serge Aurier as Bacary Sagna’s heir:
The 21-year-old, who has earned seven caps for Ivory Coast, came through the ranks at Lens before earning a move to Toulouse, where he has been a regular since the start of last season.
Aurier, who has netted five league goals this term, has over more than years left remaining on his contract and would cost around £6million.
Aurier is regarded as one of the most promising players in France, and is unlikely to be short of suitors this summer. He is renowned for his athletic attacking style. According to WhoScored.com, he has contributed directly to 11 Ligue 1 goals this season, supplementing his five goals with six assists.
Although still only 21, he is a full international and a regular for his club side.
Aurier might not offer the same level of defensive consistency as Sagna, but he would add an improved threat in the final third.
Bacary Sagna is demanding a three-year deal but manager Arsene Wenger is reluctant to sanction that for a 31-year-old, especially given his admiration for fellow right-back Chambers, who has been so impressive in his 19 appearances for Southampton this term.
Chambers signed a new four-year contract with the Saints last July but it is believed that an offer in the region of £10million could be enough to land the 19-year-old.
Chambers started and excelled during the 2-2 draw with Arsenal earlier this year. His box-to-box performance won’t have gone unnoticed by Arsene Wenger.
However, he remains hugely inexperienced. Signing Chambers would not offer Arsenal a vast improvement upon the raw Carl Jenkinson.
Arsenal may choose to extend their German contingent. In The Independent, James Olley also suggests that Sebastian Jung is being closely monitored by Arsene Wenger:
It is understood that Arsenal are also monitoring Sebastian Jung, the Eintracht Frankfurt defender. Although Eintracht have found life difficult this season — they are 13th in the Bundesliga and have not pulled clear of relegation trouble — Jung, 23, has been one of their best players and seems certain to leave, regardless of which league they will play in.
Wenger has shown an admiration for German players in recent seasons, bringing Lukas Podolski, Per Mertesacker and Mesut Ozil to the club, while Serge Gnabry was recruited from Stuttgart as a 15-year-old in the summer of 2010. Jung was called into the German squad in November 2012 but did not play and he is still waiting for his first cap.
Like Serge Aurier, Jung is known for his exciting attacking style. This season, he has contributed five assists for his team. However, unlike Aurier, he hasn’t managed a single goal. If Wenger wants to recruit an attacking full-back, Aurier looks the better bet.
If Arsene Wenger wants to sign a full-back with Premier League experience, Everton’s Seamus Coleman is the obvious choice.
At the moment, Everton are trying to tie the Irishman down to a new contract. Manager Roberto Martinez told Sky Sports:
We won't offer encouragement to any club over Seamus. He is on a long-term contract and we want to ensure we grow together and we need players like Seamus.
Yes, it is the intention to offer him a new contract. We are already thinking about Seamus, Ross (Barkley) and John Stones. We want to reward them, even James McCarthy.
The Toffees are right to act quickly to tie Coleman down. This season, he has scored six goals, making him the top scoring defender in the Premier League.
Coleman can’t match Bacary Sagna’s aerial ability or defensive nous, but would provide Arsenal with a tremendous threat on the overlap. What’s more, he is more experienced than many of the players in this list, and already has a working knowledge of English football.
Who would you sign to replace Sagna? Let us know below.