After joining Arsenal in the summer, former Newcastle United and Lille defender Mathieu Debuchy revealed in an interview with La Voix Du Nord that he used the North East club as a stepping stone to secure a move to a bigger club.
When the France international was asked if moving to Newcastle would be used as a platform for moving on, he said: “Yes, it was expected.
“After that, you never know what can happen, but I had already talked to my agents, and Newcastle was clearly a step before going into one of the top of the table clubs.”
Debuchy played at St James’ Park for a year and a half and after a sluggish start he finally found his feet and won the hearts of the Newcastle fans.
However, when Arsenal came calling in the summer, it didn’t take much to persuade the right-back to make the move south.
“I regret having left the fans, but that was expected. Everything was done quickly, I signed up for the World Cup, so I could not say goodbye.”
Newcastle fans have been unhappy with the comments, but this is not something new for the club. Debuchy’s former teammate, Yohan Cabaye, did the same thing and after a great initial spell, he used the move to attract a huge transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.
There are only seven games left in the current Premier League campaign and with Newcastle United sitting 13th, only nine points off the relegation places, it must not come as a surprise to most fans that players use their club as a springboard.
Foreign players especially, use any club in the Premier League to get a foot-hold in the country and hope to move up from there. For a team like Newcastle, they have to understand that players like Debuchy, Cabaye and potentially Moussa Sissoko next, use the club to attract the attention of others.
This does not mean they don’t care for the club and don't have a genuine connection, but there is only so far they can go with a mid-table team, no matter how they perform.
Fans need to understand the position of their club, and enjoy the players they have at the club and that they have a good reputation as an attractive option.
The real problem for Newcastle fans should be the lack of reinvestment by Mike Ashley and the people in charge, not players looking to move on to bigger and better things.
In modern day football, the reality is that the majority of clubs will always be feeder teams. Only a small handful of teams can claim to have the financial clout to ward off the advances of Europe's biggest sides.
Sadly, Cabaye and Debuchy were not the first, and they certainly won’t be the last to arrive then depart from St James’ Park when a better offer comes along.