Sagna Comments Show “Lack of Understanding”

“How can you spend €150million and only bring in young players”

How do you say “I do not understand Arsenal’s transfer policy” without saying “I do not understand Arsenal’s transfer policy”. well Bacary Sagna has done just that with his recent comments.

Arsenal’s transfer policy has been clear and obvious to anyone with half a brain.

We are targetting younger players with experience.

I am really baffled as to how Sagna either does not understand that, or has decided to be criticial of it. It is almost TalkSport-esque. Making an outlandish statement just for attention.

Sagna needs to realise that there is a huge difference between buying YOUNG players and buying YOUTH players.

Back in the mid 00s, Arsenal bought alot of youth players – the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Abou Diaby, Phillipe Senderos, Gael Clichy, Denilson and Niklas Bendtner.

These were all bought in as teenagers with very little, if any, senior experience to their name. The majority began their time with the club in the youth set up before quickly progressing to the senior team.

They needed experienced players around them to help them develop and progress.

What we have done this summer is not buy youth players but younger players.

For me, a young football is someone between 20 and 24.

They have experince of a few years of senior football but have not yet reached their peak and still have room for progession.

Ben White is 23. As is Aaron Ramsdale. Martin Ødegaard is 22 and Albert Sambi Lokonga is 21. Nuno Taveras is also 21.

These are not youth players but young players. And young players with plenty of experience.

White has played 164 games. Of that 36 were in the Premier League and 46 in the Championship. He was part of the England squad that made the Euro 2020 final.

Ramsdale has played in the Premier League fot the last two seasons, playing 75 out of 76 games. In total he has played 125 senior games and was with White in Southgate’s England squad.

Both are still young, but have plenty of experience in England.

Ødegaard has played over 200 senior games (if you take into account that Real Madrid’s B team play senior football). Those games span 4 different countries – Norway, Spain, Holland and England. He is also Norway’s captain.

Last season when regular captain Hendrik Van Crombrugge was out of the team, Vincent Kompany passed the captaincy to Lokonga – despite him being just 21 years old.

The Belgium midfielder has now played 80 league games at a senior level.

Finally Taveras is the only signing that comes to us without a great deal of experience under his belt.

Sagna talks about needing senior players, but take the midfield.

We have added Lokonga to a group which contains Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny. Experience is clearly not the issue.

When you look at the teams transfer policy in recent years, we have spent a lot of money on experienced players that can make an impact in the present. But these players have cost us a lot of money which we have not got much return on.

Finally, Sagna says “when I was playing, anyone would be excited to join Arsenal”.

But this is what I think is great about our transer policy this summer.

We have signed players who are excited to join the club. We are not signing older players who see us as one last pay cheque, or because we were their only options, or offered them the most money.

When you consider that Sagna rejected a contract offer from Arsenal to jon Manchester City – getting one last big pay day – then perhaps he should not talk about “Arsenal DNA”.

If he continues down this route he can go into the box with Emmanuel Petit. Being critical of Arsenal in an attempt to build a media career.



5 thoughts on “Sagna Comments Show “Lack of Understanding”

  1. Geoff

    It’s the fact that most of the senior players are shit or deadwood, that’s why we need experienced players for now.
    He’s also right about the club losing their identity as it is more disconnected from us fans and reality than ever.


  2. m Hunt

    The Xhaka’s, Willian’s and Elneny’s don’t lack experience but they do lack quality and heart, things you need to succeed at any big club. They’re happy to take big wages but not fight to win.


    1. Timothy Adeniyi

      It is expedient to give Mr Arteta time to build his team and not join the bandwagon of clueless journalists, pundits and ex Arsenal players who clamour for a change of manager after two premier league games.


  3. Sean Vassallo

    What has he said that’s so wrong?We bought experienced youth?Thats a good one.Never heard that before.We lost the very thing that made us on par “almost” with the big clubs even though they still outspent us which is great football.I thought Wenger players were crap….apparently we’re still the same but we spent over 150 million to become even more worse.Sagna spent 8 years at Arsenal showing nothing but loyalty and at the age of 33 left for chance to win the premier league.Thats what happens when your club refuses to pay for players or decides to spend 150 million on even crappier players.


  4. Bob

    Very well written Keenos-san. For the first time in many years.. This window is the one that make sense a lot.

    I am one to believe that football matches not only happen on-the-field, mainly off-the-field instead, at the management level. How the club prioritizing transfer policy to a certain age group, wage based on performance bonus instead of inflating weekly payment, short term contract for older player (so club can free itself when the player underperform), investment on sport science and statistical department, academy and overseas recruitment. Winning is a natural consequence of a well-managed company. Chelsea and Tottenham are ahead of us within those aspects, no wonder they ranked higher than us.

    Thing that working well for us is our academy. Thanks for working on that many years ago.

    Surely, with current squad we are still out of 6th, even relegation threat is possible. But if we can endure this year (and keep hold of our best players), next year is the time to rise up top!!



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