Arsene Wenger explains his Mathieu Debuchy decision

Mathieu Debuchy and Arsenal celebrate (Chambers included)

Mathieu Debuchy returned to action for Arsenal against Reading in the semi-finals of the FA Cup on Saturday.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has explained to the club’s official website why he started Mathieu Debuchy against Reading.

Debuchy made a comeback for the Gunners on Saturday after recovering from an injury he suffered in January.

The 29-year-old was drafted into the Gunners’ starting line-up for the FA Cup semi-final tie against the Royals at London’s Wembley Stadium.

The France international defender played the entire 120 minutes, as Arsenal won the tie 2-1 after extra time.

Hector Bellerin, who has been playing at right-back in the absence of Debuchy, was not even part of the matchday squad.

Wenger has now explained why he decided to recall the former Newcastle United star into his line-up.

“It was a bit risky,” the Frenchman told the club’s official website. “Bellerin has played recently with some ankle problems and Debuchy was back so I thought it was a good moment to do it.

“Debuchy had cramps just before the end of the game but I couldn't change him, but he is a French international and must be capable of playing in a semi-final against Reading.”

Bellerin has indeed played a lot of games recently, and the ‘rest’ is likely to have done the 20-year-old Spaniard some good.

However, with the return to full fitness of Debuchy, it will now be interesting to see how much playing time Bellerin gets betweeen now and the end of the season.

Debuchy is the undisputed number one right-back at Arsenal, but the form shown and the progress made by the Spaniard over the past few months should not be ignored.

It seems that Wenger will now have a selection headache.

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