Manchester City new boy Bacary Sagna has blasted Arsenal supporters who have accused him of moving to the Etihad Stadium purely for financial reasons. The France international insists his decision to join the Premier League champions was because he felt the time was right for a change in his career.
Sagna signed a three-year deal with the Citizens, worth a reported £140,000-a-week, despite being offered a new contract by the Gunners. The right-back spent seven years at the Emirates Stadium and won his one and only trophy with the north London outfit in his final game with the club: the FA Cup final against Hull City.
Sagna: Accusations are out of order
Sagna, who is currently on international duty with France at the World Cup finals in Brazil, told reporters that supporters were out of line for accusing him of leaving Arsenal for the money.
"I'm going to clear everything up because I keep reading that I did for money and I'm greedy," Sagna said. "What I want to say is I stayed with Arsenal with the same contract since 2008 and I never asked for more money.
"For people who think it's for money, it's not. I just wanted to change. I needed a boost in my career and I think it was about time."
Arsenal fans right to be upset?
While many Arsenal fans understood Sagna’s reasons for leaving the Gunners. others felt a little upset that he choose to leave for another Premier League club. After all, Manchester City already have one of the country’s best right-backs in the form of Argentina international Pablo Zabaleta.
Sagna accepts that establishing himself as City’s first-choice right-back won’t be easy, but is looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead.
"It is an exciting time for my career because I'm 31," he added. "I know they have a very good right-back in Zabaleta and I will have to fight to find some time on the pitch but I think we have a good team with City and we can do great."
Arsenal continue hunt for new right-back
Sagna’s decision to leave Arsenal has also left Arsene Wenger short of a top-class right-back. The Gunners’ boss has been linked to several potential replacements, but no deals have been concluded at this moment in time.
Among the frontrunners to replace Sagna is Serge Aurier, the 21-year-old Toulouse and Ivory Coast starlet whose performances at the World Cup finals in Brazil have impressed. Another potential option could be Newcastle United and France international Mathieu Debuchy, who recently admitted that he misses playing Champions League football.
Should Sagna have stayed at Arsenal?
There’s a growing sense that Arsenal, after their FA Cup triumph and the fact Wenger signed a new three-year deal, that the Gunners are on course to add to their silverware haul over the forthcoming seasons. However, Manchester City are also on the rise after winning their second Premier League title in three years.
Sagna, though, may have to settle for a place on the substitutes’ bench for Manchester City’s biggest matches. Zabaleta remains one of Europe’s best right-backs and, at this moment in time, probably has the edge over the French defender.
To watch Sagna's best moments in an Arsenal shirt, click play on the video below.