Arsenal’s right back Mathieu Debuchy has indicated that he could be back to play a part in the busy schedule of the festive period. The French international has been side-lined since September with an ankle ligament damage he sustained in the 2-2 draw against Manchester City. Having endured extensive rehabilitation, he is now aiming for a return to training in the coming days. :
“I think I will resume group training next week.” Said Debuchy
“I’ve been side-lined for 10 weeks, but it should go pretty fast now.
“The aim is to be fit for the end of the year and to play again on Boxing Day, or even a little before.”
The 29 year old has been missed for his contributions offensively and his ability to cover his centre half. Prior to his injury, he had slotted in seamlessly into the Arsenal team providing some defensive balance to the team’s set up. The positive is that he is already targeting a date for his return which is the Premier League match against Liverpool on December 21.
The former Magpies defender was part of a string of players that suffered long term injuries in the early weeks of the season. Oliver Giroud made his return last week against Manchester United after a two months absence, and he came back one month ahead of schedule. Laurent Koscienly that was missing for seven weeks returned last weekend against West Brom. With Mathieu Debuchy now weeks away from returning, it means Arsene Wenger could have his first choice back four available to him for the first time since the match against Manchester City in September. It would be a huge departure from the makeshift defence that the Frenchman has had to field for most of the season.
The Boxing Day fixture that Mathieu Debuchy is targeting is against Queens Park Rangers.
Calum Chambers has deputised for Mathieu Debuchy since he has been out, apart from the odd appearances of Hector Bellerin against Borussia Dortmund and Hull City which were occasioned by an injury and suspension to Calum Chambers, the former Saints defender has been ever present at right back since September. Mathieu Debuchy’s return should give the 19 year old some breather in the coming months.
With the team just weeks away from having its first choice back four available, the good news should be tempered with fears that Arsene Wenger could choose not to sign a defensive cover in January as a result of the return from injury of virtually all his defenders. It would just be like the Frenchman to handle the situation that way as he has done it previously in the past.
However, the injuries Arsenal have had to deal with this season has disrupted the team’s fluidity, and with injured players gradually returning, it should be a platform for more consistent display from Arsene Wenger’s side in the coming weeks.