The headline to this story is perhaps a little misleading (as all the best ones are) in that Bacary Sagna has actually gone nowhere, other than taking that well trodden road to the Arsenal treatment room. Yes, it seems after a couple of noticeably quiet weeks one of our starting XI has picked up an injury that is worse than first feared.
Reports on Tuesday suggested the Frenchman is going to miss the games with Napoli and Manchester City having already sat out the match against Everton. Rather than go on a rant about how the club’s medical staff have hindered, rather than helped, one of Arsene’s star men yet again we shall try to remain positive instead. How does that sound?
That might seem a little difficult given the fact that Sagna has been part of a rock solid back line and has been in good form this season, undoubtedly one of the reasons behind Arsenal forcing themselves into their current position as favourites for the league title, but let’s give it a go.
The positive from the Sagna injury situation is that we will get to see how well Carl Jenkinson has developed since that day we lost by a considerable number of goals at Old Trafford and Jenkinson was sent off.
At the time many thought the heavy defeat would cripple the life-long Gooner’s confidence, but it instead seems to have been the making of the man. The 21-year-old has gone from strength to strength and finally looks ready to usurp Sagna as first choice right-back.
Should the rumours prove to be true and Sagna is out of the next two games against Napoli and Manchester City then it could be Jenkinson’s time to step forward and make the position his own. At the moment Arsenal are 16/5 with Paddy Power to win against Manchester City.
The next two matches provide excellent acid tests for the English defender, starting with a trip to one of the most hostile stadiums in Europe, followed by a potential onslaught at the Etihad Stadium.
If Jenkinson is to pass this test then he will probably need to have two of the best games of his career. As an Arsenal fan I’m hoping he does, not because I dislike Sagna but because there is nothing better than seeing someone play for your club who you know has the same affinity with them.
Putting emotions to one side though, if Jenkinson was to flop massively in the games against Napoli and City then Arsene would be presented with a big problem. He wants someone who can cut it against the top teams; he has that in Sagna but faces loses him next summer.
Jenkinson is meant to be the future but if he can’t deliver then it might not be just a new striker on Arsene’s January transfer wish list.