After so many days of delay, Arsenal is set to finally announce the capture of French full back Mathieu Debuchy according to reports. Should the report be true and Debuchy be announced, he will be replacing his countryman Bacary Sagna who quit the Gunners for Premier League Champions Manchester City at the expiration of his Arsenal contract.
It is good that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is getting his deals done early. This is crucial as it would allow the players bond on time. The best time for players to bond is in the summer when they would be playing pre-season together. Debuchy arriving now means he would be party of the Arsenal party to Pre-Season tour and also available for the Emirates Cup which is Arsenal’s final pre-season games before the start of the season.
Last summer, Arsenal signed three players but the experienced ones were bought late and neither of them really had decent pre-season with Arsenal. Flamini was able to blend with the squad because he had been at Arsenal before and understood the Arsenal philosophy but for Ozil who arrived on deadline day, it was a big struggle. He started well but ran out of steam mid-way into the season.
The choice of Debuchy might have surprised a lot of people who had been expecting Ivorian right back Serge Aurier to be Sagna’s replacement. Aurier is undoubtedly talented and much younger than Debuchy but the Frenchman already has Premier League experience and knows what it takes for a defender to succeed unlike Aurier who would be testing the English waters for the first time.
Also, Debuchy’s choice is pointer to how highly Wenger rates the duo of Jenkinson and Ballerin. Both are still young and inexperienced but with Debuchy already 29 and aging fast, he might just be a mentor to both men who might just be the long term right backs for Arsenal. There are reports that Wenger wants to bring in Manquillo from Athletico Madrid while he is also been linked with move for Southampton’s Callum Chambers. All these targets have one thing in common and it is their age. They are all young. Manquillo is 20, ditto for Chambers. Le Prof is obviously looking for a talented youngster to serve as back up for Debuchy. As a backup, the youngster would be expected to learn at the feet of the Frenchman and once his time at the Emirates is up, the youngster will step in.
The arrival of either young fullback could signal the exit of Jenkinson on loan to Newcastle or another EPL team. I think that is another move in a right direction. Jenkinson needs regular first team football at this time to improve but might not get it at Arsenal owing to the stakes which are high for the Gunners. At a modest club, Jenkinson could get more games, hone his skills, make mistakes and learn from them. Then, he would return to Arsenal a better player.
Landing Debuchy and another youngster, then loaning out Jenkinson could be a win/win situation for Arsenal. The Gunners might just end up with two talented young fullbacks as long term solution to the right back conundrum at the expiration of Debuchy’s time at Arsenal.