Statistically a better defender than Sagna - Should Arsenal bring in Debuchy?

Mathieu Debuchy has cast doubt over his Newcastle United future today. Should Arsenal move for him?

Today has seen yet another of Newcastle United’s star Frenchman linked with a move away from the club. French international Mathieu Debuchy has seen himself linked with following in the footsteps of Yohan Cabaye in making a switch to Paris Saint-Germain.

He has also cast his own doubt over his future at St James Park:

"PSG? I am here until the end of the season and for next year, I do not know. This is a great loss for us (Cabaye leaving) so obviously I was sad but I'm happy for him because PSG is a great club."

With his exit seemingly possible the likes of PSG and Bayern Munich have been installed as the early favourites to snap him up - but should a Premier League team, who failed to sign Cabaye in the summer, consider making a move for the player?

Arsenal could also be on the brink of losing a French right-back in the summer - with Bacary Sagna out of contract and negotiations reportedly at stalemate.

So what would Arsenal be getting for their money if they were too invest in Debuchy - a French revolution or a French dud?

We have taken a look at the Opta stats for both players in key areas when it comes to both defending and attacking in the full-back position.

Here is their defensive comparison…

NameTeamWon TackleDuel WonInterceptionAerial WonMins
Mathieu Debuchy Newcastle 51 201 58 98 1,981
Bacary Sagna Arsenal 28 148 32 89 1,980

And here offensively…

NameTeamAccurate CrossTotal CrossBig Chance CreatedMins
Bacary Sagna Arsenal 14 77 4 1,980
Mathieu Debuchy Newcastle 10 77 2 1,981

The pair are easy to compare, as they have almost played the exact same amount of football - and it seems as though defensively Debuchy has the edge over Sagna.

He wins more tackles, one-on-one duels and aerial battles than Sagna - and also has more interceptions.

The gulf in some of these areas is actually quite large. 13 more tackles won, 53 more duels, 24 more interceptions - Debuchy is statistically the better defender.

But what about offensively?

Well Sagna has the edge, but only just.

The two have attempted the exact same amount of crosses - with Sagna’s slightly more accurate - but his dominance in the defensive areas would suggest Debuchy is the better, and not to mention younger, option.

image: © toksuede

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