Previously regarded as one of the best right-backs in the Premier League and recognised as Mr Reliable by the Arsenal fans, the news that Bacary Sagna is leaning towards signing a new deal looks to be good news for the Grove faithful.
The speculation over whether the France international would leave last summer just added to the stress Gooners were already going through regarding the Robin van Persie saga. However, that stress all came about before we witnessed the remarkable rise of Carl Jenkinson from rabbit in the headlights at Old Trafford two years ago, to potential England right-back.
The boyhood Arsenal fan has had to grow up fast from the 8-2 mauling at Manchester United in 2011 and showed last season he has what it takes to be a regular in the Gunners team. While he still carries the rashness of youth, his commitment, strength, and ability are fast making him a fan favourite in north London.
So, given Arsene Wenger’s preference for youth over experience you have to ask whether Sagna’s departure would be the worst thing in the world. At the age of 30, Sagna is starting to slip a bit, with his two errors in the 1-1 draw with Manchester United last season proving costly in terms of that game.
He is also part of a generation of Arsenal players who have grown accustomed to not winning anything, having joined in 2007.
The time has come for Jenkinson to get the nod as first-choice right-back. Sagna would make an excellent deputy but may not be happy playing that role if Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco can offer him first team football.
With a year to go on his contract, maybe prudent Arsene can see where the value is; he may decide to cash in on Sagna if his demands cannot be met. If that happens, then Arsenal fans should not panic, the next Mr Reliable looks to be here already.