Thursday, February 2, 2023

Why This Forgotten Man Could Still Have A Role To Play For Arsenal

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Arka Tarun Mukherjee
Arsenal fan and football expert, Arka Tarun Mukherjee actually used to play cricket at semi pro level. An ardent student of football tactics, ATM is very passionate about the tactical aspects of the game and has a dream of being a football manager in the future.

The season has not yet begun and Arsenal are already hit by another injury crisis. They lost Per Mertesacker to a knee injury which would keep him out for a few months and after their last pre-season friendly against Manchester City in Gothenburg and recently, Gabriel Paulista also suffered a ligament injury, leaving the field on a stretcher. The two injuries have left the team very short at the back, with Arsene Wenger desperately trying to get some defensive reinforcements in before the transfer window closes.

Although it’s the central defence which looks to be a bit thin, the Gunners do have cover in the left back position in the form of Gibbs. Nacho Monreal is the undisputed no.1 in that spot and Gibbs plays a supporting role but in the right back area, Hector Bellerin has made the spot his own after his dramatic rise from a couple of seasons ago. Previously, it was reported that Mathieu Debuchy was all set to make a loan switch to Galatasaray. The French full-back has fallen out of favour at Arsenal and is not the first choice anymore but the question is with absolutely no cover for Bellerin in the right back slot would Wenger be allowing Debuchy to go out on loan this summer?

The right-back joined Arsenal from Newcastle in the summer of 2014 and was immediately made the first choice. A serious shoulder injury meant he couldn’t play his part during a crucial phase, as a result Hector Bellerin took his chance well making it hard for the 31-year old to get back into the side. Since then Debuchy has spent most of his time either on the bench or on the treatment table, which further affected his chances of first team football. However, Debuchy has featured extensively in the preseason friendlies and there’s no doubt that when fully fit he is a very good player of his position.

As of now, it seems a bit unlikely that Wenger would allow him to leave even if it is on loan. The next season is going to be the most competitive yet and Arsenal would need adequate cover in every position if they are to mount a serious challenge on multiple fronts. Letting go of Debuchy would mean the Gunners would have to rely on Bellerin to play most of the games. Calum Chambers can fill the position at right back but his performances are hardly inspiring and the Englishman has been exposed far too often for the team’s liking by the opposition wingers in the past.

Another report surfaced recently which has claimed that West Ham United have hijacked Galatasaray’s deal for Debuchy as they now look set to compete with the Turkish giants for the services of the player. The 31-year old fullback spent the second half of last season on loan to Bordeaux in Ligue 1 but this time around it looks highly unlikely that he would be making a move in the situation the club is in. There could well be some playing time for Debuchy next season at the Emirates and if it happens the player would be looking to take his chances here rather than anywhere else.

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