By Editor Wayne Veysey
The future of Mathieu Debuchy will come under the microscope when Hector Bellerin returns to the Arsenal team after the international break.
Football Insider understands that the 20-year-old Spaniard will be in contention for the trip to West Brom on 21 November after missing the last two matches with a groin injury.
Arsene Wenger is expected to slot Bellerin straight back into the starting line-up, which could pave the way for the exit of Debuchy.
The right-back was told last week by France manager Didier Deschamps that he needs to play regularly or leave the Gunners in the January window if he wants to play at Euro 2016.
Football Insider revealed on 19 October that Debuchy will ask for a winter transfer if he remains second choice to Bellerin.
Asked about being second in line to Bellerin, the 30-year-old said: “I am dealing with it. I am trying to stay strong. We are going to remain concentrated until December, after that I will see.”
Debuchy signed for Arsenal from Newcastle for an initial £8million in the summer of 2014 but missed large chunks of last season with shoulder and ankle injuries.
He has started only 19 matches in all competitions for the Gunners and has watched from the sidelines as Bellerin has showed great promise since being fast-tracked into the first team at the end of last year.
Bellerin was subsequently handed a five-year contract during the summer and has cemented his first-team place with a string of impressive displays in the new season.
Deschamps said last week: “Mathieu Debuchy is in a position where he is playing very little. He has a decision to make in December or January. He hasn’t lost his quality, he’s playing very little.”
The Arsenal star has spoken with Arsene Wenger about his predicament after losing his place in the France team ahead of Euro 2016, which takes place in his home country next summer.
It remains to be seen whether the Arsenal manager would grant Debuchy a departure, even on loan, in January.
Although Wenger tends not to rotate his defenders and has Calum Chambers and on-loan Carl Jenkinson as alternatives for the position, he values the Frenchman’s experience and will be hopeful that he can regain the form that made him France’s first-choice right-back at the 2014 World Cup.
Debuchy told L’Equipe in September that he thought about leaving during the summer after Bellerin was selected ahead of him in the Community Shield but eventually decided to stay and fight for his place.