17 July 2014

Bienvenue, Mathieu Debuchy, à Arsenal!

It's official—Mathieu Debuchy has joined Arsenal. After a long courting, which happened in the shadows cast by the consummation of the Alexis Sánchez and the apparent pursuit of Sami Khedira, we've made our second significant signing of the summer—and it's still the middle of July. At this rate, we'll no doubt make two or three more signings, topped by a glut of 17 more signings on deadline day. More seriously, it seems like we're addressing needs in order of importance: Sánchez will challenge, replace, and play alongside Giroud up top, and we now have a right-back to replace the departed Bacary Sagna. As discussed we here, there are ways to think of Debuchy as an upgrade in some ways on Sagna...

...not to mention that we keep Ludivine in the squad as well. Okay, not that Ludivine, but a Ludivine nonetheless. The arrival of Ludivine Debuchy and her husband should strengthen the squad in important ways. For those who lusted after Serge Aurier, we can content ourselves in the knowledge that we're getting an experienced international with deep familiarity with the Prem. He may not be as sexy as Aurier, but he's arguably a better fit for our needs. He may not be available to face Boreham Wood on Saturday, but he'll likely pop up for the Emirates Cup. Dandy.

Speaking of the signing, Arsène had the following to say:
We are delighted to welcome Mathieu Debuchy to Arsenal Football Club. He has shown he can perform at the highest level with his club sides and also for France. He is a quality defender who has good Premier League experience and I’m confident he will fit in very well with us.
Indeed, he has been one of Newcastle's strongest and best players, and his addition to Arsenal bodes well for our defense now and in the future. At 28, he's still got quite a bit in the tank, but he's not so young that Jenkinson should worry. In fact, the signing may mean that Jenkinson stays with Arsenal rather than going out on loan. Whereas the addition of Aurier might have meant the end of Jenkinson's time with Arsenal, Debuchy looks to be a shrewd, short-term signing who can deliver for another three or four years while handing the reins over to Jenkinson—or until Jenkinson wrests the reins from him. We'll take a closer look at what Debuchy's signing means later.

For now, enjoy the fact that we're on a roll in this transfer-window, having added two players already. The details around Debuchy's deal haven't been released yet, but the deal probably cost us £12m. On the subject of numbers, the more-shocking one may just be that Debuchy will wear #2. Why should this shock? It means that we're starting to get players to wear proper squad numbers! Will wonders never cease...