Now that the season is over, attention has shifted to the transfer market. As expected, Arsenal are expected to spend big in the summer transfer window as they have to plug some holes and replace the players that might be leaving. Arsenal might be having heavy departures in defence as Sagna is currently out of contract and yet to renew it while Vermaelen might be jumping ship in search of regular first team football.
While replacing Vermaelen should he go isn’t so much of a fuss since he isn’t a first choice centre back despite being captain but the task of replacing the French right back Bacary Sagna is a mammoth one. Not only has Sagna been the undisputed first choice right back at Arsenal since he arrived, his versatility has also seen him play in the heart of defence and on the left side. In central defence, he has even been preferred to Thomas Vermaelen at crucial times this season despite been a natural centre-back and captain of the Gunners. This shows the importance of the Frenchman to Arsenal’s cause. Losing him would be tantamount to losing three players and that’s a big void to fill.
From reports making the rounds, he is likely heading to City and that could gift Arsenal the opportunity to land a ready made replacement in English right back Micah Richards. Richards has seen reduced game time and the arrival of Sagna could see him loosing even his place on the bench. This is where Arsenal come in.
In Micah Richards, Arsenal could be getting a player that can play all the positions Sagna played in and also a fan. We all saw how ecstatic Jenkinson was when he scored against Norwich all because beyond been an Arsenal player, he is a fan. A player is ready to play well for his team but a fan is ready to go an extra mile. Jenkinson is a fan but unfortunately, he can’t be saddled with responsibility at the highest level because of his inexperience. That’s where there is a sharp contrast between him and Richards. Richards is also an Arsenal fan but an experienced and talented one.
He has had his own fair share of injuries in the past but he is a good player. Should Arsenal loose Sagna and Vermaelen, Wenger should go for Aurier and Richards. Both men shouldn’t cost Arsenal more than 15 million Pounds or even less because Richards would be available for a knockdown fee owing to the fact that he has just a year left to run on his current contract.
City might think they having a laugh by getting Sagna now but should Wenger get Richards who is younger and help him recover his best form, Arsenal might just be having the last laugh.
Some will argue that buying Serge Aurier and Micah Richards will kill Jenkinson’s career but I do not agree. Jenkinson if he is good enough should play and as those of us who are honest will agree, he has shown he is not of Arsenal’s standard hence he should bid his time. We can help him by sending him on loan to an EPL club where he can get quality playing time and be able to horn his talents further.
To me, signing Richards will be more than a double edged sword. He can play as Centre back, right back, left back and I am sure if he is pushed further, he can be a reliable cover for us in the defensive midfield role against smaller teams in the cup games.