Arsenal must keep hold of Mathieu Debuchy in January

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His name isn't chanted each week and he is hardly a fan-favourite, but Mathieu Debuchy should still be kept for Arsenal's title challenge.

Debuchy has struggled to break into Arsene Wenger's team this season, making a measly two Premier League appearances and this has sparked rumours the Frenchman wants a move away.

Need cover

January is renowned for being a difficult marketplace for clubs to buy players. Clubs don't want to lose anyone knowing they only have a short space of time to replace them. Especially with games coming thick and fast.


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The Gunners should follow the trend and keep Debuchy. To find a good solid right back is a tough ask in any window let alone during the winter period.

While the former Newcastle player has hardly dazzled since his £12 million move to the Emirates, he is a good sturdy back-up.

Hector Bellerin has taken centre stage this season for Arsenal and has been one of the best defenders in the Premier League, but if he were to get injured, like a lot of Wenger's players seem to do, who is going to replace him?

Arguably Calum Chambers could slot in at fullback, but he has come under much criticism for his performances in that position. Most notably, his display against Swansea when he was run-ragged by Jefferson Montero at the Liberty Stadium last campaign.

Although this would give Chambers some much needed game time to build up his experience, a negative experience probably isn't the way to go about it.

A loan move for the former Southampton defender in the summer might be the better option, so he can play his preferred centre-half position.

The north London club doesn't want to get to the stage where they're forced to play Chambers at right back because they've moved Debuchy on, and end up shattering the youngster's confidence.

The reason why the French international is likely to want a move away is because of the upcoming Euro's this summer. This will put Wenger in a difficult position and he is probably being pestered by Debuchy to force a move away.

If Debuchy is causing too much of fuss than Arsenal might need to move him on, but they need to ensure they can replace him before deadline day.

Experience for Bellerin

The 30-year-old has 55 Premier League appearances to his name as well as representing his country 27 times. The latter is something Bellerin has yet to do at a senior level.

The Spanish youngster needs some guidance, he has been in excellent form, but there is going to come a time in the season where his performances dip naturally.

Resting the former Watford loanee and replacing him with Debuchy could re-energise Bellerin later on in the season, preventing him from burning out during the critical final matches of the season.

The games will be coming thick and fast for the Gunners, the FA Cup is underway, as well as two knockout ties against Barcelona in the Champions League, on top of some tricky league fixtures.

Bellerin cannot be expected to play every minute from now until the end of the season, so Debuchy can be an adequate deputy to fill in.

Let go in the summer

Wenger can let Debuchy go in the summer, there will almost certainly be takers, whether that's in the Premier League or abroad. Aston Villa and West Brom have been rumoured to be interested during the current window and could renew that interest at the end of the season.

It will be a difficult task to keep hold of him, because he is more than likely to be desperate to get some game time before the Euros, but Wenger must ensure he has a replacement lined-up if he does leave.

Even so, would game time at Aston Villa and West Brom, increase Debuchy's chances of getting picked for the national team? The Frenchman would be launched into a heavy relegation battle if he moved to Villa Park, and are likely to ship a large number of goals.

Yet again, nor would sitting on the bench at the Emirates. However, making a few appearances and impressing at a big club who might win the league might be better than conceding a hatful of goals at a club destined for relegation.

That might be something that Wenger can use to convince Debuchy to stay.

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Mathieu Debuchy
Thierry Henry
Premier League

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