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14/02/2013 - 12:44 BST

Loss of Robin van Persie Has Helped Team Increase Goal Threats – Arsenal Defender Bacary Sagna


Thursday, 14th February, 2013

Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna believes that the departure of Robin van Persie has helped the side become more diverse in the way they attack their opponents.

Last season Van Persie was the main man at the Emirates Stadium and, with 30 goals scored in the Premier League for the Gunners, he accounted for nearly half of their 74 goals as the side finished third.

The Dutchman left in the summer though, heading to Manchester United, and Sagna feels because of his absence the team have changed the way they play, with Van Persie’s replacement Olivier Giroud a very different type of striker.

"We relied on Robin a lot last year", the Frenchman told his club’s official site.

"He was in top form, he used to score in every game and he was our main striker.

"Now we have some diversity. Everyone can score and everyone can be dangerous. It’s good for the team."

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger snapped up Giroud and Lukas Podolski over the summer, with Van Persie at that time stalling on signing a new deal.

And Sagna feels the new faces at the club, including the likes of exciting Spanish attacking midfielder Santi Cazorla, have settled in well to Premier League life.

"I think everyone’s settled well. It feels like they’ve always been here and they can score great goals at any time. Everyone is getting more confident.

"We have a lot of fun [together] and everyone tries to speak English, which is really important. If you want to get stronger as a team, you have to communicate well. Everyone’s trying to speak better and better."

Last season Arsenal managed to score 1.94 goals per game in the Premier League, while at present their average number of goals per game is 1.92, just slightly lower, with 26 games played.

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