Sagna ready to play centre-back for Arsenal

The 30-year-old right-back is happy to fill in as the Gunners battle injury and suspension to first-choice defenders and admits that Champions League qualification is vital

Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna is ready to fill in at centre-back as the Gunners attempt to cope with their defensive crisis.

With Thomas Vermaelen out injured and Laurent Koscielny serving a suspension following his dismissal against Aston Villa, Per Mertesacker is the only senior central defender available for the trip to Fulham on Saturday.

But Sagna, who made the switch from the right to the middle during the Gunners’ comfortable 3-0 win at Fenerbahce in the first leg of their Champions League play-off, is happy to deputise again.

“I enjoy playing at centre-half and will play in any position for my team. Maybe in the future I will play there,” the Frenchman told the Daily Mirror.

“I am not the tallest, so I try to position myself as well as I can and to stay awake. I communicate all of the time and as long as we communicate it makes it easier.

“I enjoy centre-back because, first of all, you run less but you have to stay focused mentally all the time and stay strong because it’s all about winning the game. I still need to improve if I am to play there again but it was great because we didn’t concede any goals and, for defenders, that is the most important thing.

“I might be playing centre-back at Fulham because we have injuries and Laurent is suspended. I will do my best and try to win three points.”

Arsenal have only signed youngster Yaya Sanogo so far this summer and Sagna believes qualification for the Champions League, looking likely after the comprehensive win in Turkey, will be vital for attracting new players.

“Getting into the Champions League is so important for the club in terms of moving forward, attracting new players and also for the players and for the fans,” he added. “The pressure was on us because we lost last Saturday and we still had to qualify for the Champions League. We knew we had to perform and get a result. Now we have to do the same at Fulham on Saturday.”

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