By Harry Sykes
Arsene Wenger has revealed that Mathieu Debuchy is fearing another lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering a “severe” injury blow in his Arsenal comeback match.
The Frenchman was named in the Gunners team for the first time in a year in their 3-1 Premier League win over Bournemouth on Sunday.
With first choice Hector Bellerin still sidelined by injury, Debuchy was given the nod to start at right-back ahead of Carl Jenkinson.
But the 31-year-old lasted just 14 minutes against Bournemouth before limping off and being replaced by Jenkinson.
Asked about the latest on Debuchy in the immediate aftermath of the match, Wenger said, as quoted by the official Arsenal Twitter account: “Mathieu is worried it’s a severe one but I have to speak to our medical staff first.”
What’s the latest on @MatDebuchy?
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) November 27, 2016
Wenger did not reveal the nature of the injury but it is undoubtedly a cruel blow for Debuchy, who was starting his first Arsenal match in 385 days.
It was also a shattering blow for the team as it further reduces their defensive options after Bellerin was already ruled out for a month with ankle ligament damage.
Nevertheless, Arsenal’s win on Sunday strengthens their hold on fourth place in the league and lifts them back to within three points of leaders Chelsea.
Football Insider verdict:
With Debuchy becoming the second Arsenal right-back to break down in weeks, Wenger’s defensive options have been even further reduced. The France international may have lost his first-choice status at Emirates Stadium to Bellerin a season-and-a-half ago but, when fully fit, he represents an excellent back-up option with his experience and class as the games come thick and fast. Jenkinson has youth and promise but he is not top drawer and is making his way back after nine months out with an anterior cruciate ligament injury. Debuchy is now set for another lengthy absence, which raises further questions about Arsenal’s injury prevention methods.
In other Arsenal team news, Wenger has delivered a two-word verdict on the future of midfielder Jack Wilshere.