Arsenal FC: Is This Going to Be Bacary Sagna's Last Season for the Gunners?

Bell Malley@milesmalleyAnalyst IIIOctober 6, 2012

Is Bacary Sagna's future at Arsenal threatened?
Is Bacary Sagna's future at Arsenal threatened?Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

For the last five years, Bacary Sagna has unquestionably been one of the most consistent players for Arsenal, but he is currently rumored to be leaving. 

Despite having been criticized for his crossing, he has been a big constant in the lineup and has played a very big role in a sometimes struggling defense.

As for his crosses, which often saw the ball end up behind the goal or way over on the far side of the field due to the lack of control in them, in the last year or two, there has been tremendous improvement, and it is clear that he has worked hard to get there.

Sagna is also Arsenal's most experienced right-back, ahead of Carl Jenkinson, and is arguably in his prime right now.

"Bac," as he is nicknamed, has also made it to the PFA Premier League Team of the Year twice, in 2008 and 2011.

He was also a fan favorite, with his golden braided hair bouncing around as he ran and the calmness he displayed on a regular basis.

Indeed, Sagna has never done anything to upset Arsenal fans up till now, and he has always had a good attitude on and off the pitch  

Most would say the Frenchman is good to keep, for a least two years. 

Yet in recent times, things have gotten worrisome.

Last season, he broke the same leg twice in a span of seven months, but not in the same spots, and this could have a big impact on his fitness.

It took a lot of time and work to come back the first time, and although he has just returned to first-team training, it will still require a huge amount of work for him to get back to his top level.

Since the beginning of the season, Jenkinson has put in some fantastic performances, providing both dangerous offensive solutions and solidity in defense, and he has been one Arsenal's biggest satisfactions so far this year.  

He regularly comes up when Arsenal are in possession, and  hehas displaced great passing and dribbling skills.

He has already become a threat to Sagna's starting position, and it wouldn't be surprising if the former Charlton player was to be the definite starter at the beginning of next season.

In a late interview with French newspaper l'Équipe, Sagna shared his concerns about the departures of last year's star performers, Alex Song and Robin van Persie, and how things would be different at Arsenal without them. 

These comments were not appreciated by Arsenal boss Arsène Wenger, who has publicly warned the defender, saying that if he isn't happy, he can go elsewhere. 

Wenger is known for selling players who are starting to get old or who are nearing the end of their best years, as well as those with behavior problems.

Sagna, age 29, could have a similar fate to that of Thierry Henry, who, at 29 also, was sold to Barcelona and never played as well as when he was at Arsenal.

Another example is Alexandre Song, who was reportedly sold because of a lack of professionalism

Inter Milan have already showed some interest in him, looking to fill in the hole left by Maicon's departure to Manchester City.

Although nothing is decided for sure so far, it does look as if the Gunners and the former Auxerre player could part ways. 

If it isn't done by this summer, Sagna will surely lose value by the time he actually is sold, and in Jenkinson, Arsenal already have a good replacement.

The January transfer window isn't an option, because if Jenkinson were to be injured in the coming months, Sagna would be needed.

But in the summertime, the team will have time to adapt and purchase another substitute right-back if needed, and it would be right and not that surprising to sell Sagna.


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