Bacary Sagna still has 18 months remaining on his Arsenal contract, but the speculation has already started as to whether he will depart this summer.
After all, Arsene Wenger has tended to move players on in recent years if he believed that they wouldn’t agree to a contract extension, rather than risk losing them for nothing. Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie are both examples.
Sagna has so far only been offered one additional year and this has resulted in him being linked with a summer switch to PSG, which has caused a rift with some supporters.
The French right-back has denied the rumours and indicated that he is 100 per cent committed to achieving the most he can with Arsenal until his contract expires.
It is true that Sagna’s level has dipped since returning from a broken leg, but there is every chance that this is just a result of needing a certain number of games to re-acclimatise himself with the speed of the Premier League.
There have been signs most recently that his performances are improving and Wenger has a great track record at moving players on at the right time for the club.
Patrick Vieira was allowed to leave when Cesc Fabregas was deemed ready to run the Arsenal midfield, Gilberto was moved on when it appeared that he was past his peak and Mathieu Flamini was waiting in the wings, while Robert Pires proved more than an adequate replacement for Marc Overmars.
Carl Jenkinson filled in for Sagna at the start of the season with aplomb, but there are still niggling doubts as to whether is he properly ready to become Arsenal’s number one in that position and be relied upon fully in the biggest games.
Wenger will have a better idea and will know whether Sagna can be sacrificed in the summer or not.
For now, his sole focus remains on ensuring Arsenal finish in the top four this season to qualify for the Champions League for the 16th consecutive year, which they are 10/11 to achieve.
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