Former Arsenal man Mathieu Debuchy has told French radio station RMC of his anger for ex-boss Arsene Wenger after he refused to sanction a move to Manchester United two years ago.
Debuchy recently left the Gunners following an injury-ravaged four-year spell in North London, moving back to his native France to join Ligue 1 strugglers Saint Etienne on a free transfer.
The 32-year-old was largely considered one of the best full-backs in the Premier League at the time of joining Arsenal from Newcastle United back in 2014, but injuries plagued his stay at the Emirates Stadium.
Debuchy made just 13 league appearances in three-and-a-half seasons for Arsenal, as while he was out injured Spanish speedster Hector Bellerin consolidated himself as the club’s number one right-back.
Speaking of his time at the club, Debuchy reportedly told RMC of his desire to leave Arsenal earlier and how Wenger left him angry following his refusal to allow the player to join rivals Manchester United.
“I would have liked to have left Arsenal earlier and to have played for a different club… There were moments when I was angry with the manager,” he was quoted as saying.
"There was an approach from Manchester United and he did not want me to leave.”
Player moves between United and Arsenal have not been uncommon in the past, with the likes of Robin van Persie and recently Chilean superstar Alexis Sanchez moving to Old Trafford while Danny Welbeck, Mikel Silvestre and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have gone the other way.
But Wenger’s reported refusal to allow Debuchy to head north may have been born out of frustration following the player’s string of injuries at the club or even pride. It certainly would not have left a good impression had he managed to remain injury-free at a Premier League rival.
The France international ultimately had to settle for a spot in the background at the Emirates, and now he has six months to prove his worth at Saint Etienne as he bids to earn himself a spot at the World Cup this summer.