Arsenal right-back Bacary Sagna appears to be signing for a Manchester club in the coming days after turning down a contract extension from the Gunners, with City favourites.
He will follows ex-team mates Samir Nasri, Robin Van Persie and Gael Clichy to the city, with the first two now receiving a torrid time from the Arsenal faithful, and Clichy being left quite alone.
Will Sagna’s fate be reminiscent of Nasri and Van Persie, or will he be afforded the same level of gratitude, or perhaps indifference, as Clichy? Actually, more importantly, does Sagna even deserve derision? I’d suggest not.
The French fullback joined Arsenal seven seasons ago aged 24 under the impression that joining Arsenal would equate to silverware. This was, of course, just two years after the Gunners last trophy, meaning he had no reason to expect otherwise.
At aged 24, the Auxerre youth academy graduate was approaching his premier playing years, able to offer Arsenal the best of his ability.
Fast forward to today and the Arsenal #3 has just won his first club accolade at Arsenal: the FA Cup. For the fans it was a nine year wait, but for Bacary, it was seven long playing years, always hopeful that that year might just be their year, and always disappointed.
Now, as Sagna enters the end portion of playing career, he has re-evaluated his position.
Stay at Arsenal and possibly endure more disappointment; or head to Manchester, receive a doubled salary, play fewer games meaning less chance of injury, and increase the surety of another trophy.
For his contemporaries that followed a similar path it paid off – all of whom were rewarded with silverware.
Bacary Sagna has patiently, tirelessly given Arsenal his best years and has very little to show for it, especially as a player of his calibre. He hasn’t forced a move from the club but has instead allowed his contract to expire which, actually, is a respectful, proper practice to adopt.
If Sagna heads to a rival, Arsenal fans will owe him a thankful farewell. They can of course hope his success is limited up North, but offer a humble gratitude at his send off.