Arsenal defender Mathieu Debuchy admits he considered quitting the club after losing his place in the final XI. With Spaniard defender Hector Bellerin becoming a regular, Debuchy currently is behind him in the pecking order.
Arsene Wenger brought Debuchy to the club last season signing him for £12 million. He was touted to be the long term replacement for Bacary Sagna who moved to Manchester City. Wenger thought that he would grow into the role and reduce his worries.
But, the 30-year-old saw his first season blighted with injuries and made only 11 Premier League starts. Ankle ligaments and a dislocated shoulder kept him out of action.
Enter Bellerin! The Spanish youngster took to the Premier League like a natural and in the injury induced break for Debuchy, became one of the regulars for Wenger. And he looks set to continue this season with Debuchy featuring just once so far this season – in the opening game loss to West Ham United.
The form of Bellerin for Arsenal has been so impressive that he was rewarded with a call up to the Spanish national team. This seems to have put Debuchy in a precarious position with his starting role in doubt – in fact, unless Bellerin somehow mysteriously loses his form, Debuchy can bid his hopes of a first XI berth good bye.
Wenger even admitted that Bellerin was one of the surprises of last season. After Dbuchy returned from injury, he expected to be picked for the Community Shield against Chelsea. But with Wenger choosing Bellerin, it has become clear that Debuchy is no longer the first choice.
The Frenchman may have his own doubts about reclaiming the first team berth but the way Bellerin overcame him in the competition should give him hope. Wenger gives his players a chance to impress at various points of the season. And if the player impresses, he wouldn’t mind disrupting the XI to slot him.
The only way for Debuchy from here is up. He needs to keep himself in good shape – both physically and mentally. And when the chance presents itself, Debuchy should grab it with both legs. He should view competition from Bellerin as a mode of improving his own play.