The Gunners are expected to reinforce their squad in the transfer window and Bacary Sagna knows exactly who he wants to see join them.
Former Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna believes signing James Maddison and James Ward-Prowse would prove to be a shrewd bit of business. He also hopes the club is working on a deal for Declan Rice.
Following Leicester City and Southampton’s relegation from the Premier League, Maddison and Ward-Prowse are expected to leave their respective clubs to continue their careers in the English top flight.
When asked in an interview with Lord Ping over which players he wants Arsenal to sign, Sagna said: “James Maddison from Leicester. I also really like James Ward-Prowse.
“He is a player that can change a game on his own. Every team needs a player that can change a game in a heartbeat. You know when Arsenal used to play Stoke, Rory Delap was a player that could change a game on his own because of his long throws.
“Ward-Prowse is a master at set pieces. When a game is locked and you have a player with his ability, that is so dangerous. His free kicks are the best in the league.
“I am not saying that he would start every game, but if you added him from the bench with 15 or 20 minutes to go, he would make the difference. You need players like that in your team. His free kicks are ridiculous. He takes them for fun.”
Rice would be an ideal replacement for Xhaka
With reports linking Granit Xhaka with a summer switch to Bayer Leverkusen, Sagna hopes Arsenal already have another ace up their sleeve in West Ham captain Declan Rice – who is valued at over £100 million by his club.
“I think Declan Rice would improve under Mikel Arteta, definitely,” Sagna added.
“We saw Xhaka perform in a slightly different role for Arsenal this season, where he had an impact in the offensive part of the field. I think that is where Arsenal would be looking to use Rice if they signed him – I can see him fitting into Xhaka’s role perfectly.
“I think he would play with more freedom at Arsenal than he currently enjoys at West Ham.
“He will find himself in situations where he will have the opportunity to add more goals to his game because he will be receiving better service at Arsenal and he will be playing with better players who will be able to find him like [Martin] Odegaard.
“I think that the only way for Arsenal to allow Xhaka to leave is by signing Declan Rice. If Xhaka leaves, then I would hope Arsenal may very well have something lined up with Rice.”