Mathieu Debuchy has been tipped to make an Arsenal exit this January, with Aston Villa and Bayer Leverkusen the front runners to sign the Frenchman on loan, according to Italian publication Calciomercato.
The Birmingham based club have apparently scoffed at the £1.25m loan fee we’re demanding however, so it seems as though the Bundesliga side is now his most likely destination.
Debuchy has struggled for first team football this season, unsurprisingly so. Injuries forced him out for most of the 2014/15 campaign following his £10.5m move (via Calciomercato), and he was very successfully replaced by Hector Bellerin. The youngster has impressed hugely ever since breaking into the first team, while Debuchy has conversely been totally unremarkable every time he’s been given a chance.
The 30-year-old appears to be a little bitter about losing his place to the younger right-back, and seemed to feel his seniority entitled him to a starting spot once he returned from injury.
“In my head I thought I’d return to the starting lineup after my recovery. But at the Community Shield against Chelsea, Wenger chose him, [Hector] Bellerin,” he said (via Foot Mercato).
“It was a surprise and a disappointment. Let’s say it crossed my mind [leaving]…but I want to be at Arsenal and to regain my place.”
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You obviously still need to put the performances in when given a chance though, and Debuchy just hasn’t been doing that. Every time he’s been handed a chance we’ve looked a far weaker side for it, and Bellerin has shown that he’s the better choice in pretty much every single way.
On the one hand, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Debuchy leave the club this January – whether on a temporary basis or more permanently. His game time has been limited, he’s struggled to even make the bench at times, and Arsene Wenger has seemingly tried his very best to leave his compatriot out of the side in recent weeks. However, our options at right-back would be extremely limited were he to leave, and if we’re looking to push for the title we really can’t afford to leave ourselves with only one right-back.
Calum Chambers has shown his future doesn’t lie at right-back, so it would be foolish of Wenger to rely on him there. Carl Jenkinson is struggling at West Ham, but unless something changes, he’s with the Hammers for the remainder of the season.
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If Wenger has no intention of utilising Debuchy this season then it would arguably be a little harsh to keep him at the club and destroy any chance he has of competing at the Euro’s this summer. He signed a contract to keep him at the club though, and just because his performances don’t warrant a place in the side, doesn’t mean he can just leave. Hopefully if Wenger does let him join Leverkusen he has a plan to replace him, but with only a matter of days left in the transfer window that seems unlikely.