Bakari Sagna of AJ Auxerre, the only club never to be relegated in Ligue 1 history is set to join Arsenal except that his club seems to be holding out a wee bit longer probably for another half a mil. Arsenal will most likely sign him for 7 million pounds. His choice is a bit puzzling because even though he is a highly rated right back, we are fairly well endowed in that department having Emmanuel Eboue and Justin Hoyte.
A few factors that might have influenced Wenger’s choice. Fiorentina is likely to announce Freddie Ljungberg’s signing in a few days so that leaves us thin on the right flank even though Ljungberg was clearly not firing on all cylinders in the last two seasons. Wenger would like to develop Eboue’s right wing play as Sagna sits back. Eboue will also see Africa Cup duty along with Toure for Cote D’Ivoire leaving Arsenal hollow at the back for three weeks (depending on how far Cote D’Ivoire goes). Concerns about the goals conceded on the right side also may have prompted Wenger to sign Sagna.
Sagna has seen plenty of U21 action and has already earned his first cap for Les Bleus. He is eventually slated to replace Willy Sagnol.
Amongst the razzle dazzle of Henry, Torres, Bent, Hargreaves, Pizarro, Bale, as transfers, the signing of Arsenal’s more low key acquisitions, seems to be but a footnote. There is plenty of talk of Obafemi Martins on target as our next signing but his undoubted talent and direct, powerful style reminiscent of Drogba should be tempered by the fact that Martins seems to be a bit of a loose cannon. Personally, I would prefer Anelka because he would love to be back in Arsenal with the requisite attitude correction. However, the baggage he brings seems to be something the Arsenal board does not want to deal with.