Mathieu Debuchy is making his first start for Arsenal since appearing against Bournemouth in November 2016; 326 days ago.
The news was on the center that the French defender would set for his first Gunners start in 11 months as Arsenal go to Red Star Belgrade on Thursday.
Wenger has hinted in the press conference yesterday about Debuchy’s presence in the starting lineup. He told, “It’s a possibility that he starts tomorrow. He has not played for a long time because every time he is close to coming back he gets injured again.”
Debuchy been used almost exclusively at CB for U23s over past year or so he has done well but of course he could play RWB instead.
Debuchy has become something of a forgotten figure at the Emirates Stadium after returning from a loan stint at Bordeaux and playing just 16 minutes of Premier League football in 2016-17 before suffering a hamstring injury during the 3-1 win over Bournemouth.
The 32-year-old was widely expected to depart Arsenal during the summer transfer window. However, he eventually stayed in north London after a proposed return to France collapsed when OGC Nice, reportedly put off by his wage demands.
Newly-promoted Brighton & Hove Albion also lodged an enquiry for Debuchy in the run-up to deadline day, with Arsene Wenger apparently willing to let his compatriot depart for nothing. Yet a move to the south coast never materialised.
Debuchy has not featured in a senior Arsenal match-day squad since being confined to the substitutes’ bench for an FA Cup fifth-round win over non-league Sutton United in February. However, he has traveled to Belgrade and will start at a sold-out Rajko Mitic Stadium.
Debuchy started his career at Lille, where he won a Ligue 1 and Coupe de France double in 2010–11. He joined Newcastle United in January 2013, and was signed by Arsenal in July 2014.
Debuchy made his debut for the France national team in 2011 and has since earned over 25 caps, playing at UEFA Euro 2012 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Debuchy’s Arsenal career was disturbed many times due to injuries. Despite starting the first game of the 2015–16 Premier League season, Debuchy was continuously an unused substitute throughout the campaign. Bellerin was always chosen ahead of him by Arsene Wenger.
On 1 February 2016, Debuchy joined Ligue 1 club Girondins de Bordeaux on loan until the end of the season. This season he had again returned to Arsenal and was in the substitute’s bench for most of the times.
This match could be a huge opportunity for Debuchy to come back in the contention of starting the games for Arsenal more regularly. He could surely be a good backup option for Arsene Wenger in this long season.