Wenger's right-back collection
By Duncan Alexander
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Opta investige who is likely to start at right-back for Arsenal this season.
With the purchase of Auxerre defender Bacary Sagna, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has secured the services of a gifted French international who can play all across the back-line.
However, with Sagna usually employed as a right-back, Wenger now has quite of collection of right-fulls at his disposal, which leaves Gunners fans wondering just how the French manager plans to keep all his defenders happy.
In comparing the performances of Sagna last season in Ligue 1 with those of Arsenal's current right-backs, Emmanuel Eboue and Justin Hoyte in the Premier League, it is the Englishman who rather surprisingly comes out on top in a number of categories.
Hoyte was the only one of the three to manage a league goal last season while he also registered the best passing accuracy and tackle success rates.
However, despite his goal, scored against Charlton at the Emirates last season, Hoyte has not been as eager to push on as Sagna and Eboue, with Eboue embarking on the most dribbles and runs and Sagna whipping in the most crosses with the best accuracy rate.
Sagna also provided an impressive five goal assists compared to Eboue's four while Hoyte failed to set up a single goal.
|Prem & Ligue 1 06/07||Sagna||Eboue||Hoyte|
|Minutes On Pitch||3,413||2,063||1,506|
|Shots On Target||1||4||2|
|Shots Off Target||3||12||2|
|Pass Completion %||79%||84%||86%|
|Cross Completion %||22%||21%||5%|
|Dribbles & Runs||37||42||9|
|Dribble Completion %||32%||55%||67%|
|Tackles Won %||75%||72%||79%|
The fact that both Eboue and Hoyte have recently signed new long-terms deals suggests that Wenger intends to utilise all three right-fulls in the coming season, despite the growing rumours linking Hoyte with a move to Reading.
However, for another Gunners' right full-back, Kerrea Gilbert, who spent last season on loan at Cardiff City, the future is even less certain. Although he featured for Arsenal in their traditional pre-season friendly against Barnet on Saturday, the youngster may well be on the move as Bacary Sagna's arrival shakes up Wenger's defensive options.