• Premier League

Sagna: Van Persie carries Man United

ESPN staff
January 23, 2013
Robin van Persie is the top scorer in the Premier League © AP

Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna has admitted the club are missing Robin van Persie and refused to commit his own future as the Gunners stumble through the Premier League season.

Van Persie's summer move to Manchester United deprived Arsene Wenger's side of a forward who struck 30 times in 37 starts in the English top flight last season and with Arsenal currently outside the top five, and a massive 22 points adrift of United, Sagna told the atlantiquefootballclub.fr website that the striker's absence is being keenly felt.

"He carried the team all by himself last season. He's doing it again with Manchester United this season," Sagna said of his ex-team-mate, who has struck 18 times in 20 Premier League starts for the league leaders.

"Having a player like him of course makes the difference. He's impressive. I didn't think he'd be capable of doing what he's doing. Since I arrived at Arsenal, he's had quite a few injuries, but it's certain that it's not just anybody who can score so many goals, especially as a centre-forward."

Though through to the last-16 of the Champions League, where a tricky encounter with Bayern Munich awaits, Arsenal have struggled domestically. Sagna believes the departure of key players such as Van Persie and Alexandre Song is only half the story, however.

"We know very well it always takes time for everyone to be ready. Arsenal usually bring through players from the academy, so it's a little trickier now as players have come from outside," he said. "But I hope it'll come good."

As for his own future, the right-back has been linked with a move away from the Emirates as his contract ends in 2014 and he will seemingly only be offered a one-year extension. However, he refused to talk about the situation, saying: "That is a very difficult question. I don't want to give an answer now, because a lot can happen in football."

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