Coleman or Aurier: Who Should Replace Bacary Sagna at Arsenal?

Who would replace Bacary Sagna?

Who would replace Bacary Sagna?

Useless you’re leaving in a cave with no access to internet and cable TV, you should know that Bacary Sagna’s footballing future is far far away from Arsenal. Whether he decides to swoop for the oil riches of Manchester City or anywhere else in the footballing galaxy, the bottom line remains that Arsene Wenger has to make a decision on the right back position next season.

For the first time in many seasons, Arsene Wenger had a back line he could trust and keeping 16 clean sheets from 38 Premier League games was a testament of their collective improvement, even though Wojciech Szczesny took the plaudits for winning the Golden Glove with Petr Cech.

At left back, Kieran Gibbs showed great improvement but his fitness issues afforded Nacho Monreal some game time. In the center back positions, the club’s captain struggled hard to command a place in the team because the Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny combination was awesome in every sense of the word.

At the right flank, Bacary Sagna was clearly favored ahead of Carl Jenkinson, which made the young lad to be reduced to a couple of substitute appearances and his error in the Capital One Cup fourth round fixture against Chelsea haunted him. On the other side of the scale, he provided two brilliant assists for Aaron Ramsey (Sunderland (away)) and Nicklas Bendtner (Hull (home)) and even managed to get on the score sheet against Norwich.

Who could see how much the goal meant to him

Jenkinson is an Arsenal player and fan but in all honesty, he’s still a couple of years from producing his best football and I strongly believe that his game will be significantly improved if he’s sent on loan for a full season to get some vital match experience but with Sagna as good as gone, one wonders what the future holds for the lad.

Will Arsene Wenger announce that he will be the club’s leading right back next season with the likes of Hector Bellerin coming into the fray? Will he be sent out on loan (as I’ve suggested) or will Arsenal purchase a new leading right back with Jenkinson playing second fiddle.

Let’s explore the last option.

Many Gooners responded to the tweet and shared their opinions with the names “Seamus Coleman” and “Serge Aurier” popping up more times than the amount of penalties Lee Probert chose to deny this season. These are players that had great campaigns in their clubs and will be more than capable of replacing Sagna in Arsenal’s defense.

As an avid watcher of the Premier League, Seamus Coleman was one player that was particularly outstanding this season and his place in the PFA Team of the Year was well deserved. He was an ever-present figure in Everton’s back line and he marauded the right flank with such zeal and energy, and to top it all of, he got in on the scoring act a couple of times this season.

Meanwhile across the Channel in the city of Toulouse, a certain Ivorian full back (not Farmer Emmanuel Eboue) was busy terrorizing defenses in Ligue 1 and he helped his team to a respectable ninth place this season. Serge Aurier was a growing influence in his team and like Coleman, he scored a couple of vital goals for his club.

With some assistance from the folks at WhoScored, it’s time to do a lil’ comparison between Seamus Coleman and Serge Aurier’s performances in the 2013/14 season. Gooner Daily intends to focus on the overall, defensive, offensive and passing stats of both players.


According to WhoScored, the table below shows the overall stats of both players,

STAT (League Only)* Coleman Aurier
Appearances (Subs) 36 (0) 34 (0)
Goals 6 6
Assists 2 6
Bookings (Yellow / Red) (3/0) (11/0)
Aerial Duels Won /Attempted 0.4 per game (15/27) 2.7 per game (91/150)
Man of the Match Awards won 1 6
Who Scored Rating 7.32 7.43

From the table above, both players were tied on the number of goals scored but Aurier edged his counterpart in the assists charts. Due to his physical presence, he also won a boatload of balls in the air, which is something that was hugely associated with Sagna this season. Wojciech Szczesny had a penchant for floating balls to the Frenchman and in 180 aerial duels, Sagna won a whooping 122 which meant that he averaged 3.5 aerial duels per game.

On the down side, Aurier amassed a considerable haul of bookings and if he was in the Premier League he would have been suspended thrice (once for picking up five yellow cards and twice for picking up 10 yellow cards). On another day, he might have even seen red.


Looking at the defensive side of their games, which is obviously their primary jobs, listed below are their stats from WhoScored,

STAT (League Only)* Coleman Aurier
Tackles (per game) 71 (2) 94 (2.8)
Interceptions (per game) 47 (1.3) 75 (2.2)
Fouls Committed (per game) 25 (0.7) 38 (1.1)
Offsides Won (per game) 14 (0.4) 2 (0.1)
Clearances (per game) 88 (2.4) 102 (3)
Dribbled by Others (per game) 18 (0.5) 21 (0.6)
Blocked Shots (per game) 9 (0.3) 9 (0.3)
Own Goals committed 1 0

As these stats clearly show, Aurier is a better defensive-minded player than Coleman. He has amassed more tackles, interceptions and clearances than the Irish full back. It’s also worth noting that Aurier’s defensive stats are even better than Sagna’s this season.


Both players showcased their offensive prowess this season scoring six goals each, even though Aurier edged Coleman out with more assists. The table below shows their offensive stats via WhoScored,

STAT (League Only)* Coleman Aurier
Goals 6 6
Assists 2 6
Shots (per game) 30 (0.8) 58 (1.7)
Key Passes (per game) 45 (1.3) 32 (0.9)
Successful Dribbles (per game) 64 (1.8) 47 (1.4)
Fouled by Others (per game) 31 (0.9) 56 (1.6)
Times Caught Offside (per game) 2 (0.1) 7 (0.2)
Times Dispossessed (per game) 37 (1) 76 (2.2)
Turnovers (per game) 23 (0.7) 45 (1.3)

Offensively, Coleman would obviously edge Aurier bearing in mind that he was a winger that was converted into a fine full back. However, Aurier doubled the amount of shots Coleman made and it’s worth noting that he was dispossessed a lot of times as well as straying offside too. Coleman is a better dribbler and he supplied more key passes than Aurier.


Finally, it’s time to review the passing stats of both players via WhoScored,

STAT (League Only)* Coleman Aurier
Assists 2 6
Key Passes (per game) 45 (1.3) 32 (0.9)
Pass Completion % (Accurate / Total) 88.5% (1235/1395) 76.9% (1213/1577)
Successful Crosses (Accurate / Total) 0.8 (22/88) 1.1 (37/191)
Long Balls (Accurate / Total) 1.2 (42/79) 1.7 (57/108)
Through Balls (Accurate / Total) 0.1 (2/2) 0.1 (2/11)

Coleman’s stats edge Aurier on this front but it’s funny to know that both players aren’t accurate crossers of the ball, a similar problem encountered at Arsenal with Sagna having a meager 0.5 crosses per game (18 accurate from 123 crosses!).

These stats from WhoScored have given us a glimpse on how both players performed this season and it’s fair to say that they both had successful campaigns. But as I asked earlier, if you’re in Arsene Wenger’s shoes, who would you replace Bacary Sagna with?

Seamus Coleman or Serge Aurier?


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About enigma106

An Arsenal fan with a good sense of humor

Posted on May 22, 2014, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Aurier

  2. Aurier is beter than coleman

  3. Sunnypa De Gooners

    Aurier is far far better than coleman wenger should go for aurier and jackson martinez

  4. Sebutinde Godfery

    SERGE AURIER is far better than even Sagna plz Wenger sign hm

    I SUPPORT Bacary Sagna

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