Mathieu Debuchy: Thanks to Newcastle, I discovered English football

Olivier Giroud and Mathieu Debuchy

The Arsenal defender says he 'only has great memories' from his time with the Magpies.

Arsenal right-back Mathieu Debuchy is beaming with praise about his former club ahead of his first return to Newcastle United on Saturday.

The Frenchman has recently recovered from injury and could start against Alan Pardew's Newcastle side, the team he left for the Gunners over the summer.

But Debuchy has nothing but good memories of the Magpies, the side that made him 'discover English football.

"I had a great time at Newcastle and I can never thank the club and the fans enough for what they have done for me," Debuchy told Arsenal's matchday programme.

"I only have great memories from there. Thanks to them, I discovered English football. I played in a great atmosphere in every home match. The fans are amazing and I will keep those moments all my life.

"It will be special to face them but it will be even more special later in the season when we play them up there."

Arsenal host Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium in tomorrow's late kick-off at 5.30pm British time.

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