Arsenal confirmed the departure of Mathieu Debuchy, who joined French Ligue 1 side AS Saint-Etienne on a free transfer on deadline day. The 32-year-old had his contract terminated, making just 29 appearances in four years.
— AS Saint-Étienne (@ASSEofficiel) January 31, 2018
Signed from Newcastle United in 2014, Debuchy struggled for form and fitness at Arsenal. The French international, who represented his country on 27 occasions, was a regular at right-back in his debut season, before a ruptured ankle hampered his playing time.
He returned and played six league games before suffering a shoulder injury, and a thigh injury after that ended his season. And after losing his place in the side, he spent his second campaign at the Emirates on the bench or out of the matchday squad, making only two league appearances – he was loaned to Bordeaux at the end of January 2016.
The following campaign saw Debuchy exiled from the squad, playing some reserve football and making only one first-team appearance in all competitions. The 32-year-old looked destined for a departure in the summer, but he continued to turn clubs down.
2017/18 actually saw an improvement in playing time and performances, with the defender impressing in the Europa League and League Cup, but Debuchy opted for a return to France mid-season, as he continued to be left out of the squad for league games.
Thank you @Arsenal and all the fans!Even if i had some difficult moments i Will always remember my time in the club . Good luck for the rest of the season ! Thank you all🔴⚪️⚽️ pic.twitter.com/GFncHutZmD
— Mathieu debuchy (@MatDebuchy) February 1, 2018
He’ll now be hoping to resurrect his fledgling career with Saint-Etienne, who are currently 14th in Ligue 1, just two points above the relegation zone.
Stats from Transfermarkt.