Arsenal's home game against Manchester City tomorrow, Saturday, sees the potential return of Bacary Sagna at the Emirates Stadium.
Signed from Auxerre in 2007, Sagna spent seven seasons in North London and made 284 appearances in all competitions. Earlier this summer he moved to City on a Bosman transfer and is set to set foot in the ground he once called home.
The man who replaced him at Arsenal, Mathieu Debuchy, is unfazed about the prospect of being compared to his France compatriot and acknowledges that, even with their competitive rivalry, they have "a very good relationship."
He told the club's official website: "I like him a lot… and I wish him the best with Manchester City. I know he is going to perform well there, good luck to him, except on Saturday!
"I’ve known him for a long time, in spite of the competition we have a very good relationship, everything is cool between us."
He continued: "It hasn’t been easy to replace Bacary because he performed very well here. Our games are quite similar and to take over from him is not going to be easy, but I am going to give my best to the club."
|2013-14 Premier League||Team||Pos||Touch / apps||Pass Acc||Cross Acc||Chance Created||Assist||Tackle / apps||Duel Won / apps||Clean Sheet||Apps||Mins|
According to the data table above, there was not much to separate Sagna from Debuchy last term and the latter even received more pitch-time for France in the 2014 FIFA World Cup which suggests he is ready to emulate the right back stalwart.
With the international break now concluded, Debuchy is keen to restart the club's Premier League campaign - and is targeting a win.
"The Man City match is important for Arsenal. Now that we are done with international games we want to start on a positive note and we want to win that game.
"We know it is going to be a difficult game, it is always difficult to play against Manchester City but we want to perform well on Saturday and win," he concluded.