Come the summer transfer window, most Arsenal fans are expecting to see Wenger bring in a new defender, as it is clear that Johan Djourou, André Santos and Sebastien Squillaci are no longer in Arsène Wenger’s future plans; with Djourou and Santos put on loan for the rest of the season, it being extremely likely that they will be sold in the summer, and Squillaci told he can leave for free when his contract expires at the end of this season.
This now means we only have three CBs who Wenger deems being capable of having the quality required to play in our matches. Some may say that Miquel can come into our defence when needed, but I feel, although Ignasi may be in Arsène Wenger’s future plans, Wenger does not think he is ready yet. In reality, Wenger needs four CBs in which he can place his trust for squad rotation reasons, and as during long football seasons, many players are likely to sustain injuries at one point or another.
Many fans say that we need a new experienced CB to solve our defensive problems but there is an issue regarding the addition of a new CB.
The CB partnership is one of the most important partnerships on the pitch and any new CB we acquire would need time to settle in at Arsenal; adapt to our style of football; get to know his team-mates, and most importantly, the CBs who he will be playing alongside with. In most cases, players need at least one season to fully settle down, and I am not sure we can afford to wait for a new CB to settle in and form partnerships in one of the most important positions in our team.
People may point to the fact that Amorebieta will be available on a free, but we cannot be sure that he will come to our club. Amorebieta also does not seem much different from the CBs we already have in Mertesacker, Koscielny and Vermaelen. His size, physical and technical attributes seem very similar to our other CBs. If he did come to Arsenal, I do not see him offering anything different to our defence, which we do not already have, or improving our overall ability as a team to defend.
That is why I proposing that Sagna’s position in our team should be changed from RB to CB starting from next season.
I feel Sagna playing as a CB for us could be the answer to solving our defensive problems caused by our current CBs for a number of reasons.
Many times during this season we have conceded goals because of our CBs often panicking when put under pressure by opposing players in possession, which has led to them giving the ball away or making mistakes when in possession. Sagna is very reliable and composed in possession, and has been so in his many years at playing at RB. Pairing Sagna with one of our CBs would improve our overall defensive composure in these types of situations.
Also, because Sagna has been at the club for so many years, he will not need time to settle in at Arsenal and adapt to our style of play. Sagna will not need to learn how to play Wengerball as he has been playing at Arsenal for a number of years and knows our system very well. When Mertesacker first came to Arsenal he needed time to settle in, build partnerships with our other CBs and learn to play Wengerball. During this time our defence was often weak, which led to our defence making many schoolboy errors, which we were punished for in many of the matches we played.
In addition, Sagna playing as a CB will also offer something very different to our defence. He is much more agile and faster than our other CBs because of his smaller stature and body type in comparison to our current CBs. This would mean that he would be perfectly suited for dealing with the quicker and more nimble players in the opposing teams; where in many matches this type of player from opposing teams have used their speed, agility and dribbling skills to score vital goals against us, with our current CBs failing to stop these players because of their lack of speed and agility.
Mertesacker and Sagna both have the ability to read the game which makes them very effective players when it comes to breaking up attacks. We have seen this already this season with our defence being improved dramatically when Mertesacker is paired with Koscielny or Vermaelen. But now, with Wenger convinced that our best CB pairing is Mertesacker and Koscielny, our captain Vermaelen seems no longer to have a place in our starting line-up and does not have a CB partner.
If Sagna could be linked up with Vermaelen, we could have two really good CB pairings. In each of these CB pairings we would have two players who compliment each other technically and physically.
Wenger, early this season, said that in 1-2 years Sagna will be ready to play as a CB. Why not give Sagna the opportunity to play CB for us next season?
Wenger would have to buy a new RB to replace Sagna, and a new RB would also need time to settle in and adapt to the style of football we play, but it would be much easier for this new player to do this, as there would not be as much emphasis on this player to have to form an important partnership, compared to a new CB.
Please note, I am proposing that Sagna is turned into a CB (If he does not leave in the summer) for next season with Wenger buying a new experienced RB.
I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic.
Written by: AFC.