Arsenal expect to announce the signing of two new right-backs later this week ands the departure of another. Mathieu Debuchy and Javi Manq uillo are both set to sign for the Gunners, while Carl Jenkinson will be sent out on loan once the deals are completed.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Arsene Wenger is keen for Jenkinson to get some first team football experience, as the young Englishman has found playing time hard to come by in the past season or so. A new first choice right-back is essential after Bacary Sagna left this summer.
Sagna’s contract expired at the beginning of July and he agreed a deal to join Premier League champions Manchester City on a bumper three-year deal. Losing the 31-year-old also meant losing a deal of experience in the Emirates Stadium back line, which explains the signing of Debuchy.
The France international is 28 and was picked ahead of Sagna for the World Cup in Brazil by les Bleus manager Didier Deschamps. He has been at Newcastle United for a season and a half since joining from Ligue 1 side Lille in the 2103 January transfer window.
While injury has been a nagging problem for him, there have been glimpses that he could be a valuable asset to Arsenal for reasons other than experience. Sagna was defensively as good as any full-back in the Premier League, but his contribution going forward was limited – Debuchy will provide a bit more guile and attacking intent than his compatriot.
Gamble on youth
Manquillo is a more unknown quantity as he has only played a handful of matched for the Atletico Madrid first team, mainly being used for their ‘B’ team in the Spanish lower leagues. The 20-year-old Spaniard is something of a surprise target and his arrival would not bode well for the current right-backs at the club.
Jenkinson being sent on loan to gain first team football is not a great endorsement of the job he has done when given the chance through the absence of Sagna. The 22-year-old is a passionate supporter of the club but failed to really grasp his opportunities last season.
Shown his quality
However, a call-up for the England squad in 2012 came after a prolonged spell in the first team due to Sagna being injured, so he has shown he has the potential to be a long-term option. However, Manquillo’s signing would pose more difficult questions for Hector Bellerin.
Signed from Barcelona’s La Masia academy in 2011, Bellerin was impressing in the Under-21 team and was sent out on loan to Watford last season to gain some competitive experience. While it was not a huge success, the 19-year-old did show glimpses of quality, but he will be concerned about his future at Arsenal were his compatriot to arrive this summer.
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