Arsenal defender Mathieu Debuchy has been with the first-team throughout pre-season this summer, and after a potential permanent move to Bordeaux fell through, it appears manager Arsene Wenger will retain the full-back to provide cover in the backline.
With centre-back Per Mertesacker sidelined with injury for a number of months, Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista is expected to replace him. Rob Holding and Calum Chambers are alternate options, but don’t have the most experience at the top level.
Debuchy, while having struggled for fitness and form since his 2014-move from Newcastle, has played over 375 games in his career. He may even be considered as potential cover at centre-back should first-choice Laurent Koscielny or Gabriel suffer injury.
However, supporters will argue it’s a gamble to bank on Debuchy, Chambers or Holding when the Londoners could sign a top replacement. Debuchy has shown little quality in his two years at the Emirates Stadium, making just 12 Premier League appearances for Arsenal, and was set to turn his loan move to Bordeaux permanent this summer.
But after the move fell through, Arsenal are now expected to utilise the 31-year-old in some capacity as clearly he had shown enough back in France to convince Bordeaux to make a second approach. Debuchy still has three years remaining on his contract with the Gunners so they’re perhaps better off trying to turn his spell around at Arsenal rather than pressing to sell him.
Could Mathieu Debuchy still have a future with the Gunners?