Who Are The Top 3 Midfielders In Premier League History? Sagna’s Verdict
Who are the top 3 midfielders in Premier League history? It’s a very hotly debated topic so we put the question to a former Arsenal star.
We caught up with Bacary Sagna who played with some great midfielders during his time in the Premier League with Arsenal and Man City. Sagna also played with some top midfield generals during his time with the France national team.
The former Arsenal man also gave us his take on Arsenal’s transfer market signings and THAT goal France scored against Ireland in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers.
Sagna’s Top 3 Midfielders In Premier League History
Q. Who are your top 3 Premier League midfielders in history?
My top three Premier League midfielders in history are; Frank Lampard, because of the important goals he scored throughout his career, Steven Gerrard, because he was a genius in front of the defence and contributed to both sides of the pitch, and Cesc Fabregas.
Fabregas at his prime was amazing. At such a young age, he had the responsibility to lead the team and have the pressure. Before I moved to Arsenal, I did not understand the hype behind Fabregas, but playing with him, he was class. Fabregas was not necessarily as good technically as someone like Martin Odegaard or Kevin De Bruyne, but he was so clever and always forward-thinking.
I could have put Kevin De Bruyne in my top three, but I did not play enough games with him. I was amazed to see his passing and shooting ability when he joined Manchester City.
Man United’s star midfielder Casemiro has been a force since his move to the Premier League following an amazing career with Real Madrid. We pondered the question of who is the better midfielder – Roy Keane or Casemiro?
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Van Persie And Fabregas Would Be Worth £150+ million Nowadays
Q. With Enzo Fernandez moving to Chelsea for £107m, how much do you think Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas would be worth now?
In this market, Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas combined would be worth over £300 million.
They’d be worth around £150m – £200m each if Enzo Fernandez is worth £107m, because they both were really young at the time when I played with them and so good.
Trossard v Martinelli
Q. Arsenal fans are calling for Trossard to start over Martinelli because sometimes he can be complacent, do you agree?
I would still start Gabriel Martinelli for Arsenal, his skills, speed and finishing are a real treat to watch. He will be a key solution to playing against Manchester City because their centre-backs are not the fastest, Arsenal need to use his speed and keep Leandro Trossard on the bench.
Arsenal’s Jorginho Signing
Q. What do you make of the Jorginho signing? Is he near the level of Thomas Partey?
Jorginho and Thomas Partey both have their own qualities. Jorginho has a lot of experience from his time at Napoli, Chelsea and Italy, he made the right choice in leaving Chelsea and needed something new to step up his game.
He will be able to have more of the ball at Arsenal and the way they play should suit him perfectly.
A Folarin Balogun Return To Arsenal?
Q. Folarin Balogun is the top goalscorer in Ligue 1 ahead of Mbappe, Messi and Neymar. What Premier League team should be looking to sign him? Does he have a place back at Arsenal behind Nketiah and Jesus?
I believe Folarin Balogun will come back to Arsenal one day. Look at how William Saliba turned out, he played at Marseille and was the best defender in the Ligue 1. Balogun is doing perfectly while not playing for the best team in that league, which shows how good his finishing is.
Arsenal will be delighted to have him back, he can be an excellent addition to the squad. It’s a blessing to have three young strikers and it’s a good problem to have.
Mudryk Not Signing For Arsenal
Q. You said Mudryk was a must buy for Arsenal, do you think they’ll regret not getting him?
Arsenal won’t regret not signing Mykhailo Mudryk, he would have put Gabriel Martinelli under pressure but so can Leandro Trossard.
I have followed Mudryk for a ling time, he will be shining in England and is a big prospect, but Trossard is the perfect backup as Mudryk was too expensive.
That France v Ireland Goal and VAR
Q. There continues to be a lot of discussion on VAR. You were part of the France team that knocked Ireland out of World Cup qualifying in 2009. Do you think VAR would have ruled that goal out?
VAR would have ruled the Thierry Henry goal against Ireland in 2009 out yes, it was a clear handball, but who knows, they might’ve made a mistake like they did in the Arsenal vs Brentford game.
If Henry did not score that goal, it would have gone to penalties and it would have been 50/50. We will never know. It was difficult for the referee to have spotted the handball, there were too many players in the box, he made his apology after but it’s difficult for one referee to see everything. Even I did not see it was a handball.
Q. France play against Ireland for the first time since that game, do you expect a hostile atmosphere?
Yes I definitely expect a hostile atmosphere from Ireland because we stopped them from qualifying for the World Cup.
We are probably hated in Ireland, the fans will try to put pressure on us, but the current generation of players don’t have anything to do with it so they might not feel the pressure. But we did knock Ireland out of the Euros in 2016, so they might want revenge in that too.
I think the France players will like the atmosphere and pressure, you want to be playing a game with something on the line.
France will want to get back to their best, they will be disappointed from the World Cup final and I imagine they will want to come out on the front foot against Ireland.
Varane’s Retirement From France National Team
Q. What are your thoughts on Raphael Varane retiring?
Raphael Varane has given his all to France, his body must be tired now. He’s taken the opportunity to enjoy more time with family and he can focus on extending his career at Manchester United.
He’ll be able to rest for longer periods of time now, three or four more days of rest can be very beneficial. This retirement will surely extend his stay at Manchester United by one or two years.
Anthony Martial’s Injury Woes
Q. Will Anthony Martial recover from his injuries?
Anthony Martial is a fast and powerful player, and those kinds of players get injured easily. Cristiano Ronaldo, Kinglsey Coman and Ousmane Dembele all get injured all the time because of their pace.
Martial needs to find a balance of how he plays so he can prevent being injured frequently.
Will Raheem Sterling Stay At Chelsea?
Q. You played with Raheem Sterling, who hasn’t had much joy at Chelsea. Should he be looking to leave? If so, who?
Raheem Sterling should not leave Chelsea, he needs to fight for his position.
Where else would he go? There are not many better teams than Chelsea, they’re obviously transitioning and rebuilding now, I trust Sterling to find his way there.
I’m not worried about the signings of Mykhailo Mudryk, Noni Madueke and Joao Felix not allowing Sterling to get game time because he’s a special player.
Konate Can Still Shine At Liverpool
Q. Is Ibrahima Konate’s fault for all the goals Liverpool have conceded?
No Ibrahima Konate is not at fault for Liverpool’s poor defence recently. Liverpool have played so well over the years, winning a Champions League and a Premier League, but with Sadio Mane and other players leaving, they have to find the balance again. They still are one of the best teams and Konate will continue to shine for them.
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