Arsenal are set to lose their second right-back so far this summer, with the departure of Carl Jenkinson imminent. However, Arsene Wenger has worked his magic and carried on where he left off last summer, bringing in the marauding Mathieu Debuchy and Southampton’s teenage sensation Calum Chambers, who is expected to sign for Arsenal today.
Debuchy, who turns 29 today, will be expecting to start on the opening day of the season against Crystal Palace ahead of Chambers who is ten years his younger.
So with Southampton’s latest academy star joining Arsenal, not for the first time, will he be the one to oust Debuchy from the starting XI?
At 19 years of age the time may have come too soon for Chambers and Debuchy’s performances from last season prove that. The Frenchman had a higher Squawka Defence Score (9.42) than his soon to be fellow team-mate, who was stuck on (6.27).
Wenger loves his forwards to gallop forward and there were not many better than Bacary Sagna last season. The French international’s teasing crosses became a common trait in his game and the signs point to Debuchy replicating that. Debuchy created 0.83 chances per ninety minutes in the league last season, marginally better than Chambers on 0.66.
Those chances resulted in assists and it was Debuchy who averaged 0.11 per ninety minutes, whereas Chambers failed to register a single assist in the league campaign.
One asset in the Southampton youngsters game is his marauding runs forward, which is a key asset in his armoury. He completed 0.93 take ons per game compared to Debuchy’s 0.58, which highlights how powerful his surging runs can be for opposition members.
Debuchy makes up for that with his alertness and anticipation, a key feature in an Arsene Wenger side. The French coach likes his side to play a possession-based game, but also likes his troops to counter-attack and undergo rapid transitional phases in play. Debuchy seems equipped for that and that is outlined with his 2.49 interceptions per ninety minutes compared to Chambers’ 1.97.
The Gunners will be competing on numerous fronts and mistakes will have to be few and far between, which is why it is vital the Gunners have a defender who is resilient at the back. Good in the air, Debuchy’s aerial prowess allowed him to win 4.01 headers per ninety minutes, just under double the tally for Chambers. The Frenchman is also as commanding on the deck and he is more than happy to prove his swash-buckling capabilities when it comes to tackling.
The former Newcastle and Lille man won 2.57 tackles per ninety minutes, defeating Chambers’ number at 2.08 which Wenger will be particularly happy with. A defender who is hard to beat, both aerially and on the floor, Debuchy has a number of assets in his locker.
For a 19-year-old, Chambers has more than proven he is a right-back to be reckoned with and with the Gunners battling on four fronts next season, Wenger will look to give the young talent some game time. However, France’s number one right-back is the national side’s top dog for a reason and he has proven he has what it takes to succeed at the top.
At 29, his experience and know-how is vital to next season and that is why it should surely be him starting on August 16th.