Many Arsenal fans were unhappy at the exit of Bacary Sagna this Summer, more importantly it was just yet another member of Arsenal’s French contingent swapping the red and white of Arsenal for the sky blue of Manchester City. This angered many Gooners but with the arrival of Newcastle United right back Mathieu Debuchy, has this been enough to appease the Arsenal faithful?
Sagna was signed from Ligue 1 club Auxerre back in 2007 and was the most sought after right back in France, it was a good signing and the French right back was a good servant to the North London club where he spent 7 years. Unfortunately Sagna’s only trophy came last season in the FA cup which was understandably the reason why he rejected the offer of a new deal and wanted a fresh start although their were questions as to whether the Arsenal board and Arsene Wenger ever really did enough to try and convince him to sign on the dotted line.
Sagna left the Emirates on a free transfer but has only featured 5 times this season in the Premier league and has found it near impossible to wrestle a starting place away from Man City’s first choice right back Pablo Zabaleta.
Mathieu Debuchy’s transfer from Newcastle United to Arsenal was one of the worst kept secrets in Premier league football, rumours first broke when Debuchy updated his instagram during the World cup and it confirmed that he would be Sagna’s replacement. The French international who had become Didier Deschamps first choice at the World Cup had cost £12 million from Alan Pardew’s side but was good business for many while a few still have their reservations.
Sagna vs Debuchy: The Stats
Debuchy was ever present for Alan Pardew’s Newcastle side in his last season at St James Park and is a lot more defensively minded than Sagna who is more of an attacking wing back than a full back.
Debuchy is not blessed with a great amount of height but has a good spring which is why he wins a lot of aerial duels as well as having a very combative nature, not many forwards have enjoyed playing against him.
Thankfully for Arsenal the former Newcastle and Lille right back has returned from injury at the perfect time, Arsene Wenger has endured a defensive crisis this season which many rightfully say is a problem of his own making. The sale of Thomas Vermaelen was a telling one and something that many hope is rectified come January.
Sagna on the over hand has found it difficult to get much game time and could be regretting his move, Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini doesn’t often rotate his defence which is why Sagna has had to play second fiddle to Argentine Pablo Zabaleta who is up there with the best in Europe.
Debuchy has played in Arsenal last two games which they have won 4-1 on both occasions and has brought some much needed experience especially against his former side on Saturday evening where along with Per Mertesacker there looked like a return to some kind of solidity within the back four.
Arsene Wenger admitted that Debuchy had not much more than 24 hours to learn the centre back role that he played for the first time in his professional career but he took to the it like a duck to water.
There is little doubt that Debuchy was a good signing when his arrival was confirmed on the 17th July 2014, if the right back can string some games together he could end up being one of the best buys of the whole Summer.
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