Mathieu Debucy has insisted that whatever happens in the January transfer window he can not remain at Arsenal.
Having joined the Gunners in a £12 million move from Newcastle United in 2014, the Frenchman has seen his game time severely limited by the emergence of Hector Bellerin.
An ankle ligament injury months into his career at the Emirates allowed the Spaniard to make the full-back spot his own, and Debuchy has never been able to wrestle back the starting berth.
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With the European Championships taking place in his home nation this summer, it is no secret the 30-year-old has a desire for more first-team football, having been dropped by Didier Deschamps for France's friendlies in October.
Aston Villa has been touted as a potential destination for the defender. The Premier League's bottom club are desperate for reinforcements as they bid to keep their faint hopes of survival alive.
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Manager Remi Garde has been in contact with Debuchy, but it seems the 27-cap international is unsure about a move to the West Midlands.
However, one thing he is completely certain on is that he has to leave North London, whether that be on a temporary or permanent basis.
Debuchy told French newspaper L'Equipe: "It's true, they are among the teams seeking me. I'm currently studying everything but it's not a possibility I have excluded.
"Whatever happens, even if it is to return [to Arsenal] this summer and then start again, I have to go this winter. I can not stay at Arsenal.
"[Villa's position] makes you think. This is also why I take my time before deciding. On the other hand, it can also be a great challenge. While they are currently in difficulty, Aston Villa is one of the major English clubs. This is also why I do not rule out this possibility.
Debuchy has been limited to seven appearances in all competitions for Arsenal this season and has not played since the 3-0 Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb in November.
For the good of his own career, a move away from the Emirates seems like the best solution and, looking forward, it seems unlikely he would ever be able to dislodge Bellerin if he left on loan in the window.
Should Mathieu Debuchy stay and fight for his place at Arsenal? Leave your comments below.
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