Marseille veteran could replace outgoing Newcastle United defender

With Mathieu Debuchy set to move to Arsenal. Rod Fanni could be the man to replace him at Newcastle.

Mathieu Debuchy’s move from Newcastle United to Arsenal seems like a forgone conclusion if the media and many respected journalists are to be believed.

The move leaves Newcastle a little short in the right-back department and they will be looking to bring in one or two players in that area. Many names have already been mentioned such as Serge Aurier of Toulouse, Micah Richards of Manchester City and one name that has seemingly come out of nowhere - Olympique de Marseille defender Rod Fanni.

On the face of it, it seems like a move that doesn’t fit into Newcastle’s usual profile. Fanni is 32 years old, there is no sell on value and he is untested in the Premier League. However, it is not the most ridiculous rumour and when you delve a little deeper and don’t judge the player without seeing him play, there is scope that it could work.

Back in 2008, Fanni was regarded as one of the better right-backs in France and earned five caps while playing under Raymond Domenech. Even now, at 32 years old, he is still one of the fitter members of the Marseille team.

When called upon he can bomb up and down the right-flank with relative ease, and he is actually a better defender than Debuchy has ever been.

His experience is second to none. He played over 100 games for Stade Rennais before moving to Marseille in 2011, where he has played 88 games for the French giant.

The likes of Cesar Azpilicueta and Brice Dja Djédjé have joined Marseille while Fanni was there, but he has always managed to force his way into the team, even using his versatility as a centre-back to get back into the starting XI.

Fanni’s agent has already suggested that Newcastle United have been in touch about the defender, and Marcelo Bielsa has made it clear that the player has to find a new club.

There is a chance that Newcastle could arrange a deal to bring Fanni in without paying a transfer fee, making the 32-year-old a much more attractive prospect.

Newcastle would have a replacement for Debuchy without relinquishing a lot of money, and Fanni would have a new challenge that he would relish.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch