EXCLUSIVE | By Editor Wayne Veysey
Mathieu Debuchy will ask for a transfer during the January window if he remains sidelined by Arsenal, Football Insider sources understand.
The France international has started only three matches this season after losing his right-back position to youngster Hector Bellerin during his injury-ravaged debut campaign at Emirates Stadium.
Debuchy has spoken with manager 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.
Sources have told Football Insider the 30-year-old will look to leave Emirates Stadium in the winter if he does not regain his place.
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 17 matches in all competitions for the Gunners and has watched from the sidelines as Bellerin, 20, 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.
It remains to be seen whether Wenger would grant Debuchy a departure, even on loan, in January. Although the Arsenal manager 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. At that time, Debuchy was in the France squad for the friendlies against Portugal and Serbia.
Debuchy said: “In the long-term, if this situation continues it could become tricky. He [Wenger] knows I’m worried though because there’s an important deadline at the end of the season. It’s a must to hold down a first team place. It’s clear. To be effective on the field you need game time.”