While Arsenal have been linked with plenty of right backs since the departure of defender Bacary Sagna to Manchester City, the Gunners may have finally found their man in Mathieu Debuchy. The current France #1 right back (over Sagna), Debuchy enjoyed a fairly successful 2013-14 campaign with Newcastle and has made it clear in the past that he would like to play Champions League football again sometime in the near future (Debuchy was able to reach the Champions League with French club Lille before joining Newcastle in 2013).
Although many Arsenal fans will tell you that they would rather have Sagna over Debuchy on their roster, the latter defender actually put up better numbers last season. According to Squawka.com, Debuchy had more Premier League blocks, interceptions, and tackles than his French counterpart (despite featuring in six fewer league matches). The Newcastle defender also created more goal-scoring chances and had more assists than Sagna as well.
One of the most talked about Sagna replacements this summer has been Ivory Coast international Serge Aurier. While Aurier would seemingly be a fine addition to the Gunners (and a deal appeared imminent just a few weeks ago), the Gunners have dragged their feet in signing the Toulouse man since his country’s departure from the World Cup.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger might very well feel cautious in bringing in the 21-year-old Aurier because he has faith in the development of 22-year-old Carl Jenkinson, and 19-year-old Héctor Bellerín. Jenkinson, Arsenal’s backup to Sagna for the last few years, has progressed a bit slowly, but positively since his Arsenal from Charlton Athletic in 2011. The former Finland and England youth international made 14 Premier league appearances (seven starts) for the Gunners last season, scoring one goal and providing two assists to his teammates.
Bellerín is seen as somewhat of a “work in progress” but rising star in the Arsenal youth ranks. The former Barcelona youngster came to the Emirates during the same summer as Jenkinson and is currently a U-19 Spain international. Bellerín is a versatile player that can be deployed as a defender or a midfielder. The flexible 19-year-old likes to get forward with the ball and has solid passing skills, but also possesses adequate defensive abilities as well.
A move for the 28-year-old Debuchy would give the Gunners both a solid present-day option at right back, and would also allow the two young right backs in the squad to progress without potentially damaging their confidence/development. Wenger has shown before that he would prefer not to mess with the progression of his players when he chose not to re-sign Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona. Reports suggested that Wenger turned down Fabregas because of the Gunners already having Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mesut Özil, and Jack Wilshere. Debuchy will reportedly cost Arsenal around $19 million.
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