After making the Arsenal fans wait for well over a week, when the deal was reported to be done and the French right back had already seemed to let slip that he was heading to north London, Arsene Wenger was yesterday finally able to announce that Mathieu Debuchy had signed a long term contract with Arsenal Football Club.
Debuchy is coming in as a direct replacement for our long serving right back, Bacary Sagna, and the two are already very close competitiors for the starting role in the France national side. And it seems to be the fact that Debuchy has very similar attributes in defending, getting forward to help with the attacks, as well as top class experience, that has convinced the Arsenal boss that he is our man.
In the Arsenal.com report where Wenger talks about his new player, it comes across to me that the manager is keen for there to be as smooth a transition as possible. With Debuchy about to celebrate his 29th birthday before the new season starts, many thought that Sagna’s replacement might be a younger player, like Serge Aurier or Seamus Coleman, but the fact that the Frenchman will hopefully provide the club with a seamless transition seems to have been the key to this transfer.
Wenger said, “They are competitors in the French national team. The obvious replacement for Sagna was Debuchy and he’s a player who has experience, he’s played in the Premier League and he will also be in competition with Jenkinson, who I expect to move forward as well. There’s an interesting fight there but of course he has experience and he’s a guy who will bring something to the team with the departure of Sagna. We needed to sign somebody and I think Debuchy is the perfect signing.
“He knows what to expect and that’s of course a huge advantage. I would like to thank Sagna for his contribution to this club. He had strong mental qualities and we wish him well. But Debuchy is also mentally strong and dedicated, with a big passion like Jenkinson so I think at right back now we are in a strong position.
“I think he’s very good going forward, he’s very quick in transition. He’s sharp in his marking, good with interceptions and quick to go from defence to attack. You feel he always has the desire to go forward. I believe he will be perfectly suited to our style in that aspect.”
It also appears clear that Wenger expects our young English right back to push on this season and challenge for a more regular place in the starting line-up. Jenkinson will have an early chance to state his case, with Debuchy joining up later because of his World Cup duties. Crack on Carl, and Welcome to Arsenal Mathieu Debuchy!