The Frenchman found a way out of Arsenal during the winter transfer window, but could have been turning out at Old Trafford rather than St Etienne
Mathieu Debuchy may have finally found a route out of Arsenal but he is still angry at Arsene Wenger for having blocked a move to Manchester United.
The Frenchman emerged as a target for the Red Devils during a period in which they were eager to address supposed deficiencies at right-back.
Debuchy was being denied regular minutes by Wenger at the time and was eager to make a switch to Old Trafford.
Article continues below
Juve on alert: Exiled Icardi may have already played his final game for Inter Sarri vindicated for dropping Kepa as Chelsea & Pedro impress in Spurs win Magnificent Mane takes centre stage as league leaders Liverpool put on a five-star show Lukaku sends reminder that his Man Utd career is far from over
He was, however, prevented from doing so and only made his way to the Emirates Stadium exits during the recent January transfer window as a return to his homeland was secured at St Etienne.
Reflecting on a frustrating spell at Arsenal in which he was shunted down the pecking order but forced to stay put, Debuchy told RMC Sport: “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.
“There was an approach from Manchester Unitedand he did not want me to leave.”
Debuchy joined Arsenal from Newcastle in the summer of 2014.
He made 10 Premier League appearances in his debut campaign, and 15 across all competitions, but that was to be as good as it got.
Fitness issues and Wenger’s reluctance to call upon him restricted the 32-year-old to just a further 15 outings in two-and-a-half seasons.
While disappointed to have been frozen out, Debuchy did see his attitude praised as he wandered in the sporting wilderness.
Wenger told reporters in December: “His future is down to his performances now and I opened the door for him many times because he didn’t play and because he has [Hector] Bellerin in front of him.
“We have as well Ainsley [Maitland-Niles] now who can play right and left, but I consider him like anybody else and I must say I have a huge respect for his professional side and how much he did fight to come back to the top. He’s a tough, tough guy. Tough worker.
“He’s mentally strong. I’ve said many times in this job you can never give up, no matter what happens for you and always be ready in case you’re needed.
“Not many can do that, but Mathieu can do that.”
Debuchy has made an immediate impact in new surroundings at St Etienne, netting on his debut in a 2-0 victory over Amiens.