Bakary Sagna has become the latest Arsenal player to walk into a contract dispute with Arsene Wenger, as the 29-year-old demands the Gunners’ boss ups his £60,000-a-week deal.
However Arsenal may be better off to simply allow the Frenchman to leave the Emirates Stadium in January rather than enter a long period of contract negotiations. Inter Milan are said to be waiting in the wings to capture Sagna, should he not sign a new deal at the Emirates.
With the emergence of Carl Jenkinson as a potential successor at right back, Wenger has no pressure to keep the unhappy Frenchman at the Emirates for longer than is strictly necessary. Sagna has been a good servant for the Gunners, but with him approaching 30, and having a history of injuries, it would appear that January may be the last chance for Arsenal to cash in on their right back.
Additionally, with a ready made replacement in Jenkinson, Wenger could reinvest any transfer funds gained from letting Sagna leave into strengthening other areas of the squad.
Although with a backup right back in short supply, Wenger will need to spend some of the Sagna transfer money on a direct replacement, who will likely be required to act as an understudy to Jenkinson.
In giving Jenkinson the responsibility of being Arsenal’s first choice right back, Wenger places added pressure on the youngster that will hopefully bring him through as a real contender for a regular place in the England setup.
Whilst the 20-year-old, is probably England’s current fourth choice right back, behind Kyle Walker, Micah Richards and Glen Johnson, the constant first team exposure at the Emirates, with the shear amount of Champions League and Premier League football that comes with that, should propel Jenkinson alongside Walker as England’s top two right backs.