Mathieu Debuchy looks to have lost his place in the starting XI to Hector Bellerin this season, and the Frenchman claims the competition had him thinking of leaving this summer, as reported by the Evening Standard.
The former Newcastle full-back looked an excellent signing when we brought him in to replace Bacary Sagna, but an injury plagued first season meant he was barely able to string a handful of games together.
With Carl Jenkinson out on loan, Calum Chambers and Hector Bellerin were left to shoulder the burden, and the young Spaniard stepped up in a big way.
He has been phenomenal since breaking into the team, and has deservedly kept his place ahead of Debuchy. The 30-year-old claims he has been surprised and disappointed at not starting however, and therefore considered leaving this past summer.
“It is difficult,” Debuchy told L’Equipe (as quoted by the Evening Standard).
“Even if I had not played a lot last season, in my head I would return to start after my recovery. But, at the Community Shield against Chelsea, Wenger chose him, Bellerin.
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“It was a surprise and a disappointment. Let’s say it crossed my mind (leaving)… But I want to be at Arsenal and to take my place.”
Debuchy has shown himself to be a quality right-back, but his experience does not give him an instant right to a starting spot ahead of Bellerin. The 20-year-old has barely put a foot wrong since taking the mantle, and it would be extremely harsh to drop him when he is performing so well.
At 30-years-old, it’s understandable that Debuchy would want to consider his options. But it’s good to have players at the club who are ready and willing to fight for their spot in the face of competition, not just pack up and leave when the going gets tough.
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Bellerin may well prove to be our right-back for years to come, so if Debuchy wants his place back, then he needs to prove he deserves it.