January’s transfer window brought about more drama than the title races in most of Europe’s major leagues this season as stories broke from every angle.
The saga surrounding the move of Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United stole the show, of course, as his certain move to Manchester City was blown out of the water by their arch-rivals.
That move saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan head in the other direction while simultaneously creating a transfer ‘merry-go-round’ that introduced Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea; Aubameyang came in to replace Sanchez’s goals, Dortmund loaned Michy Batshuayi to replace their star, and Chelsea picked up Olivier Giroud to wrap everything up in the neatest of packages.
City were left as the only side involved who didn’t get what they wanted, leaving Pep Guardiola to make some headlines as he claimed that the team who has spent more than any other over the past two years simply can’t compete with the financial dealings of the rest.
Few have been able to work out exactly how that makes sense, with Liverpool’s £75 million signing of Virgil van Dijk somehow pricing out a team who has spent nearly £200m building their defence just this season.
That money was mostly spent on full-backs as Guardiola ditched last season’s offerings in favour of expensive signings in Tottenham’s Kyle Walker, Monaco’s Benjamin Mendy, and Real Madrid’s Danilo.
Paying the price of those costly arrivals, other than poor Man City, were Aleksandar Kolarov, Gael Clichy, and Bacary Sagna.
Kolarov would make a controversial move to AS Roma, arch-rivals of his former side Lazio, while Clichy moved to Turkish side İstanbul Başakşehir, but Sagna was left without a new team.
The French full-back has gone well over six months without a new side, in fact, and only now has he finally found one – Serie A strugglers Benevento.
It’s a surprising move for a player who made 25 appearances for a side with the stature of Man City last season; Benevento have become infamous this season as possibly the worst side to ever feature in the Italian top flight.
The minnows lost their first 14 games of this season before a miraculous draw with AC Milan gave them their first Serie A point – courtesy of a 95th-minute equaliser from their goalkeeper.
Sagna, however, was honest in his reasons for choosing Benevento.
“When football has become a business more than an actual sport, Benevento represents the heart and soul of what a club should be about,” Sagna told footballfancast, via SkySports.
“Passion, heart, hope, joy, love and a philosophy that is aligned to that of my own way of thinking in life.”
Finding a new club after City can’t be easy, and Sagna has joined a side that is virtually the opposite of the Premier League leaders, but his reasons are as good as any a player can have.