There’s a fixed and rigid system at Arsenal when it comes to contract extensions, salaries and especially guidelines of how to handle old players, aka guys over 30. Bacary Sagna wants a three-year deal, Arsene Wenger is willing to offer only two, even though the French right back deserves to get what he’s asking for.
It used to be a lot stricter. Even someone like Dennis Bergkamp played out the final seasons with the Gunners on a year-to-year basis. Wenger has a financial structure to keep which has helped him lose some of the biggest talents in the Premier League over the years, and has also denied him from being able to attract big talent or win any titles, which is probably the bottom line when trying to describe everything that’s been going on with Arsenal over the last 10 years.
So now Wenger is willing to give “geezers” two-year deals if they’re good enough and when healthy, Sagna is still one of the best right backs in the Premier League; one that has the option of going elsewhere, which includes Monaco and PSG for more money than he’d make at Arsenal, or if he’s truly given up on competitiveness there are the Gulf options.
Sagna isn’t asking for more money, just more years, or year, for his loyalty to the club. He has been at Arsenal for almost 7 years now – he has been glanced over when it came to captaincy, but he can live with that. Arsenal is a place that fits him and his football, and he doesn’t seem to be too much of a risk as a player who’ll suddenly become a waste of space on the squad once he turns 32 or 33. Even if not as a starting right back but as a backup to Jenkinson or anyone else Wenger has in mind for the position, you can do much worse than Sagna.
When thinking about the costs, keeping Sagna might be a better course of action than trying to sign a new one for a lot of money and a bigger wage. There is always the development route which means once again looking for a youngster – either from within or from outside the club and waiting, hoping, for years. Sagna is here and now, with known abilities, good enough for a team that is aiming at the championship or a top 4 finish. It will be a waste to see him leave just because Wenger isn’t willing to move away from the guidelines that haven’t really helped him give Arsenal the required boost in order to win a championship.