Liverpool display shows Arsenal should let contract rebel leave

The whole Arsenal team struggled in Saturday's humiliating 5-1 defeat at the hands of Liverpool, but did it spell the end for one Gunners star?

Liverpool's staggering four goal blitz inside the opening 20 minutes at Anfield sealed the game before it even got going, and in truth, Arsenal barely got out of the traps throughout the game in what was an embarrassing day for all people associated with the club.

But whilst Mesut Ozil took a large portion of the criticism for yet another anonymous display, the Arsenal defence was caught out time and time again as Brendan Rodgers side ran riot in the first half, with the Gunners showing the same frailty that saw them concede six at Manchester City.

One of the chief culprits was right back Bacary Sagna, whose future at the club is up in the air, with his contract expiring in the summer and a deal looking some way off completion.

But was his display against Liverpool enough to show that Arsenal should let Sagna leave at the end of the season?

Sagna has been a great servant for the Gunners since his 2007 switch from French side Auxerre, but with his 31st birthday approaching, the time has come for Arsene Wenger to replace his experienced right back and target a younger, more athletic player.

Raheem Sterling had one of his best games of the season up against Sagna, exploiting his lack of pace to repeatedly get in behind the defence and cause chaos in the Arsenal backline. Sagna was also slow to react on set pieces, where Liverpool hit two early goals. Liverpool's speed was simply too much for the Arsenal backline and it exposed Sagna's deficiencies at this stage in his career, whilst he also failed to offer anything going forward.

A return to France has been mooted for Sagna, with big-spending Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain both in the market for a new right back, and rather than pay out for a new contract for Sagna, Arsenal should let him leave and look to bring in a new, younger right back such as Toulouse's Serge Aurier or Seamus Coleman of Everton, in order to keep progressing as a team rather than preaching continuity for the sake of it.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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