Arsenal full-back Mathieu Debuchy has revealed that he had considered leaving Arsenal this summer as he lost his starting place to Hector Bellerin and featured in only 11 games last season. The defender, who was signed from Newcastle United in 2014, missed a major part of last season with a couple of injuries that kept him out of the first team.
Spanish right-back Bellerin has since seized the opportunity and ousted the Frenchman as the first choice defender in Arsene Wenger's squad for three of the last four games in the league. The 20-year-old is known for his pace and ability to move past the forward from the back, which has given him the nod over Debuchy.
The 30-year-old is currently with the France national team and needs to play regular football for his club in a bid to keep himself in the first eleven for Didier Deschamps' senior side for the upcoming Euro 2016. As consequence of the dilemma, the defender revealed that he had considered leaving north London to a team where he will have guaranteed first team action.
"It is difficult," Debuchy told L'Equipe, as quoted by the Guardian. "Even if I had not played a lot last season, in my head I would return to start after my recovery. But, at the Community Shield against Chelsea, Wenger chose him, Bellerin.
"It was a surprise and a disappointment. Let's say it [leaving] crossed my mind. But I want to be at Arsenal and to take my place."
Debuchy was also used as a right sided defender to compensate for the loss of Laurent Koscielny for the major part of the first half of last season with an Achilles' problem. However, with Gabriel joining the Gunners in January, Wenger has enough options at the back to compensate for any injuries to his first team defenders, which has made it more difficult for the Frenchman to hold down a first team spot.