When the link started like a deluge of flood shortly after last season ended, most fans in the gunner sphere thought that Ivorian and Toulouse right back Serge Aurier will end up as the replacement for Bacary Sagna. But to some who have followed the trajectory of Arsene Wenger during his reign at North London, they could tell that he is not one prone to following the populist path when making a decision.
So, it came as no surprise when out of the radar, French and Newcastle right back is now likely to be the replacement for Bacary Sagna at right back. In trying to get into the head of Arsene Wenger, what could be the reason that made Le Prof to take a 360 degrees U-turn to stick with the Magpies right back.
Firstly, is the issue of experience, Mathieu Debuchy is few years younger than Bacary Sagna, a little over 2 years and few months to be precise. Which makes him 28, but Serge Aurier is 21, at the same age bracket with Carl Jenkinson and Hector Bellerin. Bringing in the Ivorian would have stalled the development of Jenkinson and Bellerin. Debuchy on the other hand is at an age where he can serve as a mentor to a younger player without standing in the way of such a player, in getting the odd first team football. Besides that, the fact Debuchy will not have to adapt to the rigours of the Premier League makes him a safer option when compared to the Ivorian. The struggles of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny when they came to England must have been registered in Arsene Wenger ‘s mind when coming up with this situational decision.
He wouldn’t have wanted a situation where a young player in Serge Aurier will be the one to flank the slow Per Mertesacker. The fact that Debuchy has a knack for covering his centre half will have been noted by Wenger.
Secondly, he is the issue of the African Cup of Nations. Arsene Wenger saw the effects of the Cup of Nations on the squad when players like Kolo Toure, Gervinho, Laurent Mayer and other African players were in the books of the club. They were not always around at a time their services were most needed, in January and February. He must have thought that since there is a Cup of Nations tournament early next year, that would affect the adaptation of the Ivorian to Arsenal’s combination play which means it might take his second season for him to have an uninterrupted season.
Besides the reasons enunciated above, Arsene Wenger would have considered what signing Serge Aurier would do to the mental state of Carl Jenkinson, as he sees him as part of the British core in the club. Getting in Debuchy does less damage to Jenkinson’s position at the club, as he would be entering his peak at the time that Debuchy’s contract will be coming to an end.
In the end, one thing was clear from the entire link of Serge Aurier to Arsenal, Arsene Wenger does not follow the populist circles in taking decisions.