Arsenal defender Mathieu Debuchy has admitted that it was tough to leave Newcastle last summer.
French international Mathieu Debuchy has told La Voix Du Nord that it was 'brutal' to leave Newcastle and join Arsenal last summer.
Debuchy, 29, joined Lille at the age of just eight, and spent almost 20 years with the club, winning the Ligue 1 title alongside the likes of Eden Hazard, Yohan Cabaye and Gervinho in 2011.
The Gunners had to replace Bacary Sagna after his move to Manchester City, and chose to bring in the man who was keeping Sagna out of the French national team in Debuchy.
Debuchy's debut season in North London has been riddled with injuries, and he's only been able to make 11 appearances for Arsenal in all competitions.
He may now have a battle on his hands at right back, with Hector Bellerin performing so well - but as he gears up for a return to the Arsenal first-team, he spoke to La Voix Du Nord about his departure from Newcastle almost a year ago.
Debuchy said that he didn't get a chance to say goodbye to fans or team-mates at Newcastle due to the speed of the deal, and admitted just how difficult it was to leave St. James' Park in order to join the French contingent at the Emirates Stadium.
"It was tricky," said Debuchy. "Everything was done quickly during the World Cup so I could not say goodbye. The president called me - he does not do that with everyone - so it was a big gesture on his part. It means I did good things at Newcastle."
"It was a bit difficult for me because I had a good relationship with the fans and staff at the club. It was brutal but I'm very happy to be at Arsenal," he added.