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Arsenal and its new signings this season – Part 2 (Mathieu Debuchy)

In every aspect of life there is a time to move on. Same holds true with football and its players, clubs, coaches and managers. The longer the association, the harder it becomes for all parties concerned. For Arsenal, Bacary Sagna had been a consistent player. A player who played at the top of his game for majority of the time and was a stand out performer. He was the first on the team sheet and  was a great servant to the club. He played 284 times for the club and ended his time with a FA Cup winners medal in his last competitive game for the Gunners. 

Big question 

Arsene how do you replace someone who has played for 7 seasons and made right back position his own? Well, he brings in a player who had kept Sagna on the bench in Didier Deschamps’ quarter-finalist French World Cup 2014 team, Mathieu Debuchy. 28 year old has been signed from Newcastle United for a fee of around £12 million. Debuchy made 46 appearances for the Tyneside team, which he joined in Jan 2013 from Lille. He is a Lille academy product, where he started at the age of eight. He won the French double with them and has the experience of playing in the Champions League with Lille as well. Debuchy has also represented France 25 times, after making his international debut in October 2011 against Albania. 

What can you expect?

Anyone who has watched him in the last few years will agree that he has improved a lot in the full back position. His forays down the right hand flank for Newcastle showed that he has that attacking instinct needed in the modern game. He plays a bit high up the pitch as a full back and that is the way Arsenal want their full backs to play. He will easily fit in with the Gunners system and football style. Like Sagna, he also can defend and defend well. 


If we compare the numbers between the two, then you can yourself see where his strengths are as compared to Sagna.

2013- 2014 season

Debuchy

Sagna

Appearances

29

35

Passing Accuracy

72.5

85.3

Tackles won

71

45

Clearances

135

175

Blocks

12

7

Interceptions

69

51

Goals scored

1

1

Shots on target

13

7

Chanses created

23

21

Assists

3

2

 

The numbers also show that he can tackle, he can effect blocks, he can intercept and he can create chances. Those numbers are more or less in the same mold as Sagna had last season.

 

Room for improvement

The biggest room for improvement here seems to be the passing accuracy. Agreed, that Newcastle play a totally different game then Arsenal but to play at a top team the passing accuracy from the back line and especially the full backs have to be high. Comparing the passing accuracy with other right full backs in the league from last season shows that he needs to up his game in that area.  Zabaleta at Man City had 85 %, Coleman at Everton had 88%, Johnson at Liverpool had 84% and Ivanovic at Chelsea had 82%. These numbers can improve for sure but this is something that the Arsenal coaching staff including Steve Bould will have to work on and address it very quickly. 

 

Arsene Wenger and Arsenal is like a theater story that has been carrying on from 1996. In this story, we have seen many french performers grace, first the Highbury and now the Emirates pitch. Carrying on this long tradition, one Frenchman has gone but has been replaced by another Frenchman. 

 

Meanwhile, Sagna’s understudy last year Carl Jenkinson, a boyhood Arsenal fan, has been loaned out to West Ham United in search of more first team games. Debuchy has been given his preferred number 2 shirt at Arsenal. Abou Diaby had that number on his shirt for arsenal for last 8 seasons. Diaby will be wearing number 24 this season.

 

Carrying on with the same series, in part 3 the next player will be new goalkeeper David Ospina

 

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This entry was posted on 01/08/2014 by in Arsenal, Football.
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