Arsenal's highly scrutinised transfer window has commenced with the departure of long-time Gunner Bacary Sagna. Yet according to Luke Edwards of The Telegraph, the apple might not fall too far from the tree with the player Arsene Wenger is lining up for Sagna's replacement—the man who's displaced him for the French national side, Mathieu Debuchy.
The Newcastle United man has been valued at £12million by his parent club, a figure Arsenal are reportedly reluctant to meet.
Despite this, his displays in Brazil for Les Bleus thus far in the World Cup, as well as Wenger's lack of options currently within his defensive personnel to replace Sagna, might tempt them further towards an approach for Debuchy. However, it's not solely his World Cup form that makes the Toon Army's full-back an attractive buy for his countryman Wenger.
There are a myriad of reasons which confirm the notion that this mooted transfer makes great sense for both Arsenal and Debuchy.
Primarily, as viewers of France's quartet of World Cup matches thus far in Brazil will have observed, Debuchy has displaced Sagna in three of those fixtures as Didier Deschamps' preference at right-back, with Sagna given the nod for the dour goalless stalemate with Ecuador.
It's no coincidence that France's greatest successes so far in the tournament, leading them to an incredibly tasty quarter-final with Germany on Friday, have featured Debuchy's contributions on the flank.
Spectators of the round of 16 fixture on Monday—the hard-fought 2-0 triumph over a stoic Nigeria—will especially know that Debuchy's creativity in pushing forward to support his midfield, as well as his constant presence as a defensive stalwart, were an important part of the French effort in Brasilia. A thorn in the side of his opposite number Kenneth Omeruo, Debuchy was omnipresent and unfaltering.
Indeed, with Debuchy forming part of an indomitable back four, France have only conceded twice thus far in the entire tournament—and one of those, a Blerim Dzemaili free-kick, was arguably the result of a mistimed blocking effort from Karim Benzema and the French wall.
What do you make of this piece of transfer speculation?
For France, Debuchy has looked impressive and is arguably one of the vital cogs in the Gallic renaissance at these World Cup finals. There is more than this to explain why the current Magpie would be a great fit in Arsenal colours, however.
Turning 29 at the end of July makes Debuchy two years younger than Sagna. While this doesn't set up a particularly long-term solution for Arsenal, the current Newcastle man is in his prime, arguably more dangerous going forward than Sagna and slightly less injury prone (emphasis on slightly, via PhysioRoom.com).
It also allows Carl Jenkinson and Hector Bellerin, the other two specialist right-backs in Wenger's squad, more time to develop and mature into Premier League calibre defenders. Jenkinson is arguably too raw and too inconsistent to ink his name onto Wenger's starting XI every week, and Bellerin has even less experience at the highest level of competition.
With Debuchy in the core of Arsenal's squad, the duo of younger full-backs have at least a couple more years to learn from an experienced player and to hone their capabilities in the shadows.
Debuchy himself is alleged to be longing for the prospect of Champions League football and has been disillusioned since the departure of his close friend and now Paris Saint-Germain midfielder, Yohan Cabaye (per Edwards, The Telegraph). Since experiencing the highest echelons of continental competition with Lille, Debuchy would obviously relish the opportunity to feature in the competition again.
Everything would appear to be in place—the interest of the player, the calibre of the player and the interest from the club as well. This particular piece of transfer conjecture might well have the legs to become a done deal as the summer progresses.
Certainly, both the Gunners and Debuchy would be better for it. This deal would be an excellent way for Wenger to kick off what is sure to be an incredibly important transfer window—make no mistake.
What do you make of Debuchy—both as a player and as a target for Arsene Wenger? Leave me your thoughts with a comment, or find me on Twitter: @callumlarr.