‘There was an approach from Manchester United’ – Defender fumes at blocked move

Mathieu Debuchy playing for France. Picture: Football.ua [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0), CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

AS Saint-Etienne defender Mathieu Debuchy admitted he was still angry at Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger for blocking a move to Manchester United.

As reported by BBC Sport, the 32-year-old was linked with a deadline day loan move 12 months ago before Wenger intervened, citing he couldn’t help out a rival.

Debuchy made 30 appearances for Arsenal and found himself loaned out to FC Girondins Bordeaux due to the lack of playing time at the Emirates. A permanent exit has been on the cards for years, so the French international would jump at the chance to join United, even in a short-term capacity.

Speaking to RMC Sport, however, the former LOSC Lille and Newcastle United right-back is still rankled by the decision. He said: “I would have liked to have left Arsenal earlier and to have played for a different club.

 “There were moments when I was angry with the manager. There was an approach from Manchester United and he did not want me to leave.”

Now at Saint-Etienne, it’s unlikely United will make another approach for Debuchy, as the 2016 interest arose due to the dwindling number of defenders in the squad. What’s ironic is that Arsenal would do business with United a year later.

The Gunners gifted the Red Devils their top scorer from the last season, Alexis Sanchez, in exchange for Henrikh Mkhitaryan – a player Mourinho no longer wanted. You can see why Debuchy was annoyed with the decision in hindsight.

Would Arsenal offloading an unwanted defender be so damaging? Would he have played that much for United?

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