At the end of the season, Arsenal are going to try and find a new right back to replace Bacary Sagna, who has refused to extend his contract after six seasons of playing at the Emirates. While Carl Jenkinson is an option to be the man who inherits his place, others from outside the club are also being targeted, specifically one of the following three – Daryl Janmaat of Feyenoord, Sebastien Corchia of Sochaux or Matt Lowton from Aston Villa.
Sagna has played 229 for the gunners since arriving from Auxerre in 2007 for €11 million, twice making it into the PFA Premier League team of the season, but along with injuries and age (Sagna is 30, playing a total of 40 league matches in the last couple of seasons) came a decline in his ability as a defender and a potential threat with his crossing on the wing.
Sagna doesn’t have to worry – he’ll find a club in Italy, Russia or France (with Monaco and PSG fighting for his services) to give him a fat contract, possibly the last one he’ll get in his career. Arsenal though Jenkinson, at least earlier this season, might be the one to take over at the position, but the 21 year old who stands at 1.85 which looks quite staggering for a full back hasn’t been able to show consistency, and has been dropped after a poor start to the season.
While this doesn’t mean Wenger will be giving up on him – he’s always ready to give young players more chances, possibly too much, Jenkinson will have plenty of competition for the positions, from one of the three we mentioned previously.
Janmaat might be the best full back in the Netherlands at the moment, making six appearances for the national team since his debut in 2012, having a very successful season at Feyenoord after coming from Heerenveen last summer. Janmaat came through a free transfer after his contract expired to Feyenoord, which means he might not have to cost too much money for Arsenal to try and get him, although his recent international success will mean he’s not going to come too cheaply.
Sébastien Corchia seems like the most attractive and interesting of the possibilities, and him being French probably adds to the chances of his arrival. The 22 year old who has been with Sochaux since 2011 is known for his free kick abilities and tendencies to play up front as much as possible. He has only three career goals but his crosses make him an excellent option on the wings, something that Wenger has lost with Sagna’s decline.
The third option is an English one – Lowton, who is completing his first season with Aston Villa after coming from Sheffield United for £3 million. Lowton is probably the most versatile of the options, capable of playing all along the defensive line, but prefers the right back position. He is one of the few Villa players to be having a decent season, and should they be relegated, his transfer should prove to be quite manageable for Arsenal.