French veteran full-back, Bacary Sagna would be out of contract after this month at the Etihad as club officials have decided against offering a new contract to the player. With the player’s departure from Manchester City pretty close, many Premier League clubs are on the hunt to secure the services of the experienced defender with Southampton being one of the potential suitors.
Claude Puel is preparing to infuse strength and experience to his squad at the back, an area that the St. Mary’s team need to improve in order to climb higher up the table. Southampton has conceded a total of 48 goals and it comes as no shock that the gaffer would like to restructure and bolster his backline in the upcoming transfer window.
Being available in the market on a Bosman, many teams are looking at signing the French full-back and Puel would have to put up a fair fight to lure the veteran defender to the St Mary’s.
The player had featured in 25 matches for the Sky Blues this past season, providing 2 assists in the process.
He has an average pass percentage of 87.8 and made a total of 9 key passes for the team. Although not too prolific at creating chances going forward, the player makes up for it with his calmness, composure and stability at the back which is showcased through his total of 25 interceptions and tackle success rate of 79.48% for the Sky Blues.
The player is also quite good at winning aerial duels and also pose a threat during corners and set pieces.
The Frenchman’s only drawback is his fitness issues which have contributed to his time on the bench this season. (Stats via WhoScored)
What’ll he offer the club?
Available at virtually zero cost, the club has a lot to gain from the player. The ex-Arsenal man has a lot of experience and expertise of being a full back in the Premier League for many years. He would help in providing the invaluable experience and stability at the back which Puel needs to ensure more solidity.
Although the veteran would have zero resale value, managers now-a-days do prefer to bring in experienced older individuals into their team to rub off some of their knowledge and skills on the squad’s younger players as we have seen quite a few examples in recent years (Xabi Alonso in Bayern, Dani Alves in Juventus, etc.)
It’s all up to Puel now whether he would be able to lure away the Frenchman amidst rising interest from other clubs on the player.