Arsenal right-back Mathieu Debuchy has confirmed he intends to leave the Gunners this January in a hope to secure a place in Frances Euro 2016 squad, however he could return this summer (via ESPN FC).
The Frenchman has endured a difficult time since his move from Newcastle in the summer of 2014, when he was brought in as a direct replacement for Bacary Sagna. Debuchy suffered back-to-back serious injuries during the course of the 2014/15 season that effectively ended his run in the starting lineup, especially with the rise to prominence of youngster Hector Bellerin.
The 30-year-old has managed just 15 appearances since his arrival from Tyneside (via Whoscored) and is certain he will finalize a move this winter in a bid to secure his place in Didier Deschamps starting lineup ahead of his countries international friendlies.
“Whatever happens, even if it is to return [to Arsenal] this summer and then start again, I have to go this winter. I can not stay at Arsenal,” he told L’Equipe (via Espn FC).
“As the weeks go by, we get closer to the Euros. I have to play to try to return as soon as March for the Netherlands and Russia friendlies.
“I clearly lost six months. I would have preferred to leave last summer but the coach [Arsene Wenger] told me that I would have my chance. Ultimately, it was not the case.”
Debuchy has attracted interest from a number of clubs including Premier League outfit West Bromwich Albion and strugglers Aston Villa, while the Frenchman also suggested Bayer Leverkusen is on a potential shortlist.
“It’s true, they [Villa] are among the teams seeking me. I’m currently studying everything but it’s not a possibility I have excluded,” Debuchy continued.
“[Villa’s position] makes you think. This is also why I take my time before deciding. On the other hand, it can also be a great challenge. While they are currently in difficulty, Aston Villa is one of the major English clubs. This is also why I do not rule out this possibility.
“[The interest from Leverkusen] is true and it may interest me too. The most important thing is to play in an attractive league.”
Unless something radical happens and Bellerin suffers an injury (not entirely inconceivable), Debuchy will be restricted to cameo and rotated appearances only. The young Spaniard has well and truly cemented his position in the first eleven, with Calum Chambers and Mathieu Flamini options to provide cover – however they are purely stop-gap options as both operate more favourably centrally.
Arsenal need Debuchy for the title run-in. But the Frenchman has other aspirations and clearly isn’t focused on his task at hand at Arsenal which is aiding the squad to win their first Premier League title since 2003/04. Whether Wenger is ruthless enough to keep him though will be another question…