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Sagna: Arsenal can be champions

Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna is confident the north London club can battle for the Premier League title next season.

• Blog: Exploiting the schedule

And the French international insisted he would have quit the club had he thought the Gunners would continue their silverware drought.

Much speculation has surrounded the 30-year-old Sagna, the former Auxerre player struggled with injuries and form last season and a move back to his homeland was strongly rumoured as his contract enters its final years.

But after the Gunners were able to overtake arch-rival Tottenham in the race for a Champions League spot late in the season, Sagna started to believe the current Gunners squad could return past glories to the club.

"I truly believe we can be champions or else I wouldn't be playing football," Sagna told www.gulfnews.com. "I would have gone already. I truly believe we can succeed with the team we have.

"I strongly believe we have the quality to be the best in the Premier League.

"Look at the end of last season, when we got 26 points from a possible 30. Not a lot of teams can do this and this is what makes me believe we can beat anyone.

"What we managed last season can be done only by a true team with a great team spirit. I believe we can achieve a lot more."

However, Sagna warned his team-mates that to fulfil their potential, they had to eradicate the common mistakes that have plagued Arsene Wenger and his men in recent years.

"On some days we can switch off and lose to anyone and to avoid this, we need to take things game by game and stay focused from the beginning to the end," he said.

"There are no major things that we ought to do to continue succeeding.

"I think we just have to stick around as a team, where each one helps out on the pitch, and stay consistent like we did in the second half of the season."

On a new deal with the club, Sagna added: "We are still talking [about a new contract]. I never said I wanted to leave the club, but there are some journalists who want to speculate as I have just one year to go."

"The fact is that I am still at Arsenal and I am looking forward to playing next season.

"Arsenal made me grow as a player and as a man. People have been talking about me going back to France, but at the moment I am at Arsenal."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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