Whilst Arsenal’s defence can offer a little more strength in depth this season, the right back position is the one obvious area of weakness.
Over on the left the Gunners have both Kieran Gibbs, a capped England international and regular performer. He’s technically gifted and has upped his defensive contribution considerably. Then there’s Nacho Monreal, the full-back/winger who has real confidence on the ball and attacks with flair and craft. Each of them provide Arsene Wenger with a viable option.
Unfortunately this just isn’t the case in the right back slot. Whilst Bacary Sagna is one of the Premier League’s most consistent and impressive performers, the same cannot (yet) be said of Carl Jenkinson.
The young right back may be quick and he may have a tasty cross on him, but other areas of his game are severely lacking. Defensively, he doesn’t seem to know how to position himself, gets caught out regularly and is often a little over-exuberant. He sometimes charges into tackles that he shouldn’t and gives away needless free-kicks.
He’s still got a lot to learn and needs more time to develop. He’s just not ready for regular Premier League action.
That’s why I can’t help but hope that Bacary Sagna agrees an extension to his Arsenal contract. The 30-year-old recently spoke about his future:
“I’ve still got six months on my contract with Arsenal. We are in negotiations. It’s an option to go somewhere in January but I always had a good relationship with Arsenal. I’ve been playing there for seven years and i hope we will end up on something good. First of all I want to finish champion because we have got a good opportunity to do it this year and after we will see…”
How elliptical. The Mirror claim that Arsene Wenger is ‘confident’ that the Frenchman will sign a new two year deal worth £70k-a-week. Here’s hoping.
Sagna is still a top performer with a great work rate and all round game. He’s one of the best in the Premier League in his position and still has a couple of years left in him.
By the time he’s ready to check out, Carl Jenkinson should be ready to strut his stuff. In that sense, keeping Sagna at the club makes a lot of sense. Let’s just hope that Arsene Wenger sees things this way.
What’s your take? Do Arsenal still need Bacary Sagna, or should they be looking at other options?
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