New Arsenal centre-back Debuchy outshines Mertesacker in five key areas

Mathieu Debuchy experienced a new position for Arsenal against Newcastle United, but he did very well against the Magpies.

Arsenal right-back Mathieu Debuchy added another string to his bow this weekend, as the Frenchman started at centre-back alongside Per Mertesacker at home to Newcastle United.

The Gunners ran out comfortable 4-1 winners but while goal-scorers Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud generated most of the headlines, Debuchy's influence cannot be overstated.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger later revealed that Debuchy had never played at centre-back before, but few would have realised that given his performance this weekend.

Debuchy outshone his more experienced Arsenal teammate in five key defensive areas, winning more tackles, duels, aerial battles and interceptions than Mertesacker and making more effective clearances.

  Passing AccuracyTackles WonDuels WonAerial WonInterceptions WonEffective ClearancesMins Played
Per Mertesacker 82% 0 4 3 1 4 90
Mathieu Debuchy 79% 2 9 6 2 5 90

Wenger has made a habit of playing full-backs in the centre this season, with Nacho Monreal spending a considerably less enjoyable time at the heart of Arsenal's defence in the recent past.  

But Debuchy showed there is another option moving forward, although the Gunners will surely sign a new centre-back next month, providing they can get the right man of course.

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