Mathieu Debuchy: Tactical Breakdown of Newcastle's Newest Signing
Alan Pardew has raided Ligue 1 again, this time for Lille right-back Mathieu Debuchy. The latest Newcastle recruit has a lot to offer Tyneside, and he comes at a very cheap price of £5.5m (via The Daily Mail).
Let's break down exactly what head scout Graham Carr has spotted this time around.
Debuchy is just the latest product to be pillaged from Lille, and manager Rudi Garcia has his work cut out replacing him, just like he did when Gervinho, Eden Hazard and Yohan Cabaye departed previously.
He's a fully fledged France international and starred at Euro 2012 in the absence of Bacary Sagna.
So what's his game?
He's actually one of the more finely balanced modern full-backs—a man who loves to attack, but doesn't shirk his defensive responsibilities either.
He has boundless energy and brings great stamina to the right flank. He also brings confidence to his right-winger, as the player can feel assured Debuchy has most things covered.
For France during Euro 2012, his most telling impact came when storming forward, and throughout the warm-up games it became clear his favourite area of the pitch is the opposition's back post.
He would pop up there with regularity, bringing a real attacking threat at the latest possible moment.
He applied serious pressure to England's Stewart Downing and pinned him inside his own half in Group D's opening game, then pulled a similar act against Sweden.
Territorially, he is superb.
What does he change at Newcastle?
The most obvious and immediate impact he will make at St. James' Park is to bring balance to Pardew's full-back combination.
At the moment, Davide Santon is far and away the better full-back on the books, but Debuchy will arrive and threaten that position. Most of the Magpies' good flank work in the wide areas comes solely through Hatem Ben Arfa or Santon, but now Newcastle carry a double threat.
That'll split defences nicely and stop any potential double-team marking on Ben Arfa.
He'll also lift spirits. Newcastle are in a lowly position and this is an international-calibre player arriving. He'll strike up instant rapport with his French teammates and link up with ex-Lille pal Cabaye.
For £5.5 million, Pardew has found another bargain.
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