“My head was gone” – Former Arsenal star insists exit was not about money

Sagna has hit back at claims he left Arsenal because of money.

Former Arsenal right-back Bacary Sagna has given an interview to explain how he ended up leaving the club for Manchester City back in 2014.

The Frenchman was a key player for Arsenal for many years, but will no doubt have tainted his reputation with many Gooners after deciding to join Premier League rivals City on a free transfer.

Sagna ran his contract down before his move to the Etihad Stadium in the summer of 2014, but insists now that it was nothing to do with money.

Speaking to Goal, the 37-year-old says his head was gone after a few key incidents, as he particularly criticised the sales of Robin van Persie and Alex Song in quick succession in the summer of 2012.

Sagna will already have had to deal with a number of big names leaving Arsenal by that point, and he has made it clear how difficult he was finding life in north London shortly before he left.

“It was not about money like people think or any way of leaving to win trophies. No, I was happy at Arsenal,” he told Goal.

“But my head was gone. I was upset. I remember the fans signing ‘we want you to stay’, but I couldn’t stay because I was upset and I couldn’t play with my head.

“Even my dad talked to me, saying ‘look you need to clear this up’ but I said I was too upset. I was not even performing. I remember my dad and my brother came to a game and they didn’t recognise me.

“I had some great moments, some difficult moments. I had some good seasons, some average seasons. But during that period I think I did more positive things than negative things and I never asked for anything.

“So I expected a bit more respect and so I made up my mind. When they came and said how can we help you, I said it was too late.”

Tags Bacary Sagna


  1. I’m afraid I found this all very weird
    I’m sorry if Sagna had mental health issues, I really am but to say that he was happy at Arsenal and in the next breath say he wasn’t given enough respect doesn’t sound right.
    I can’t believe the club didn’t have counsellors especially as Arsenal were always at the front of player education etc.
    Then letting his contract run down..!!! Sounds like he complains too much.

  2. Sorry Sagna
    You chose to run down your contract and at the same time blame the club for not reaching out to you. You felt you didn’t get the respect you deserved
    Your career didn’t end there and then: you went to the enormously successful and wealthy Man City
    Self entitled codswallop

    1. Sue Though I basically agree with your point on SOME players, you and all of us too, need to remember that players, with very few exceptions, are NOT actual FANS of the club they play for. This makes their outlook of transfers at odds with that of diehard fans.
      So many fans constantly overlook that basic truth and though ther ARE a minority of Judases in football, such as CASHLEY HOLE and RvP, most players who leave do not do so to deliberataly harm the club they leave, but because they think, rightly or wrongly, that their future will be better served by moving away. That is clear and obvious but I have always maintained that normal fan bias makes it near impossible to get at the real truth.
      To my mind, Cesc and Sagna were in totally different circumstances from the two Judases above. Adebayor was another self centred Judas and CASHLEY apart, possibly the worst around the Prem at that time.
      MOST players are just trying and honestly trying too, to do the best for their careers and for their family as they see it at the time. Of course some moves prove to be clear mistakes, from the players view , but only with hindsight.


      1. Jon
        The others you mentioned were the lowest as was Winston Bogarde at Chelsea I expect plenty of other clubs have similar stories
        I have mostly happy memories of Cesc and no particular view on Sagna.
        I was going by the nuts and bolts of the article which seems to suggest that a couple of players moving on and a hint of mental health issues made him feel unloved by the club. It surprised me that Arsenal who over the years were progressive in educating their players would fall down on their players’ mental health
        You will know more about his departure than me but there is something about running down your contract which I don’t like , even if it means securing a whopping signing on fee that ensures a wealthy future. I’m not against him I just felt he was blaming Arsenal as suggested by the article. Did blame need to be apportioned?

        1. Sue I thought the article was a little slanted against him. I must say that I was not the greatest fan of him as a player, thinking him merely decent to good but way less a player than the likes of Cole and Sansom. I thought him a good man though and do not blame him for wanting out of our club , as it was clear Kroenke was frustrating his understandable ambition to win silverware.

          Sagna was though,IMO, markedly better than his full back partner, “CALAMITY” Clichy, both of whom went to City and who were, also IMO, both weaker links at City than all their other top standard players.

          I try to differentiate between judging a player as a person and judging them as players. Some are great people but lesser players and that works in reverse qute often too; Pogba being a prime example of a prodigiously talented player BUT a really poor person with a gigantic ego and pretty much useless as a team player therefore, in all but short spells. Some players just have too big an ego to thrive long term in a team environment and consequently move from club to club. True team players like Adams, Bob Wilson, George Armstrong were great men and also really good but not great players, apart from Tony Adams who obviously WAS a true great.

          I also think fair minded fans have the urge and ability to look at things from the players position, as well as us fans positions. Our natural fan bias, mostly, makes it all too easy and too unfair to look at the whole picture properly before criticising the player.

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