Mathieu Debuchy

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Arsenal moves onto League Cup semis (video)

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Arsenal is one win from its first League Cup final since 2011 after dispatching West Ham United 1-0 via a Danny Welbeck goal at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.

The Gunners last won the League Cup in 1993, are just 2-5 in finals.

[ REPORT: Chelsea, Arsenal, United chase Zaha ]

West Ham mustered just one shot and won zero corner kicks on the day, to Arsenal’s eight and six on a day with several backups for both sides.

It might not’ve been the prettiest thing, but Welbeck shows outstanding control to take down Mathieu Debuchy‘s headed pass and bundle it over the line.

Transfer rumor roundup: West Ham soften Payet stance; Reus to replace Alexis

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Will he stay or will he go? It’s the question consuming the entirety of the January transfer window, as West Ham United desperately attempt to keep hold of their brilliant, want-away midfielder Dimitri Payet. Having already rejected numerous bids for the 29-year-old French international, a report from the Mirror claims the Hammers may be prepared to soften their not-for-sale stance and concede defeat in the face of Marseille’s continued pursuit. But only for $36 million, or more.

[ MORE: Thursday’s transfer rumor roundup | Wednesday | Tuesday | Monday ]

Rumors regarding the future of Alexis Sanchez have swirled for weeks and months now. With Sanchez’s contract set to expire next summer, the Gunners could be forced to recoup whatever they can for the Chilean this summer if he refuses to commit his long-term future to the club. That money will have to be reinvested, of course, to acquire his replacement. According to WhoScored.com, a $64-million bid would be made for 27-year-old Borussia Dortmund winger Marco Reus.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Branislav Ivanovic‘s Chelsea career could be coming to a close, as the 32-year-old Serbian international is reportedly in talks with Zenit St. Petersburg. Ivanovic would see out the remainder of the 2016-17 Premier League season before moving to Russia on a free transfer in the summer.

[ MORE: Wenger suspended 4 games for pushing referee ]

Gaston Ramirez could be leaving Middlesbrough for Leicester City — a $15-million bid has been rejected, but a follow-up is expected, with $19 million the reported price tag — thus Boro are expected to reinvest the Ramirez fee in the form of a bid for Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish.

[ MORE: FA Cup 4th round preview — is it time for Cupsets? ]

Mathieu Debuchy is eyeing a return to Ligue 1 after being told he is welcome to leave Arsenal this month. The 31-year-old returned to first-team training on Friday following a hamstring injury, but has been highly critical of manager Arsene Wenger in recent weeks, thus his future at the club seems sealed. Debuchy has played just 16 minutes in the PL this season.

Watch Live: Arsenal vs. Bournemouth (Lineups & Live Stream)

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The Gunners have not lost since opening day, but with a pair of draws, they suddenly see themselves six points adrift of the top, and now host a testy Bournemouth side needing to keep pace with the top.

Eddie Howe, tipped by some to potentially succeed Arsene Wenger, visits the Emirates live on CNBC at 9:15 a.m. ET or live online at NBCSports.com.

WATCH LIVE: Arsenal vs. Bournemouth live on NBCSports.com

Olivier Giroud has scored vital late goals in each of the Gunners’ last two games, but he still can’t find the starting lineup as Alexis Sanchez yet again begins up top. Despite this, there are still a host of changes to the starting lineup for Wenger who hopes to spark an uptick in form.

Mathieu Debuchy returns to the starting lineup for the first time in over a year, giving a boost to a back line that has struggled with consistency due to a host of injuries. Debuchy slots in at right-back, replacing Carl Jenkinson as both look to keep the status quo after losing Hector Bellerin to an ankle injury. Granit Xhaka also comes in to the Arsenal side alongside Mohamed Elneny in the holding midfield, with Francis Coquelin making way. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaces Alex Iwobi on the wing, as Walcott’s early season form appears to have dried up.

For Bournemouth, Howe makes just two changes with Brad Smith and Adam Smith coming into the starting lineup. Jack Wilshere makes way as he is ineligible to face his parent club, and left-back Charlie Daniels returning to the bench following the end of Adam Smith’s suspension. They are still without first-choice goalkeeper Artur Boruc after injuring his back.

In just three previous competitive matches between these two clubs, the Gunners haven’t failed to win in any, with Mesut Ozil scoring twice against the Cherries last season alone.

LINEUPS

Arsenal: Cech; Debuchy, Mustafi, Koscieny, Monreal; Elneny, Xhaka; Walcott, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Sanchez.
Subs: Ospina, Gabriel, Gibbs, Coquelin, Ramsey, Iwobi, Giruod.

Bournemouth: Federici; A.Smith, Francis, Cook, B.Smith, Ake; Gosling, Arter; Stanislas, King, Wilson.
Subs: Allsop, Mings, Ibe, Fraser, Pugh, Mousset, Afobe.

Arsenal’s Debuchy blocked from Manchester United move; Player, Wenger discuss

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Manchester United wanted to strengthen its back four with the addition of out-of-favor Arsenal defender Mathieu Debuchy, but Arsene Wenger shut the move down.

It isn’t shocking given the longstanding rivalry between United and the Gunners. Well, it isn’t shocking for nearly everyone but Debuchy.

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Now on loan at Bordeaux, the French right back admitted surprise that Wenger wouldn’t sanction the move.

From The Guardian:

“I was disappointed, obviously. If I had the chance to go to Manchester United it would have been magnificent. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the case. I discussed it with the coach, too, who said that obviously he couldn’t help out a rival.

“Yes, I’m a little bit annoyed with him. It’s his choice. I had a good pre-season. He said that I would have game time and that we would discuss it in December. Unfortunately, I didn’t have this game time.”

Here’s Wenger’s rationale:

“If Man United wants to buy a player‚ you loan players out to clubs who do not have the resources but not to direct opponents. I was surprised, yes [that United tried]. I can understand it but I found it logical [to block the loan].”

It’s all logical, yes, and Debuchy is now getting playing time on loan at the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux.

Arsenal’s Debuchy, Sunderland’s Fletcher headed to Ligue 1 sides

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A pair of Premier League veterans are making moves to France.

That Arsenal right back Mathieu Debuchy would be going back home on loan isn’t a terrible surprise, but the other name might really have you scratching your head.

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Debuchy left Lille in 2013 and made an instant impact alongside friend Yohan Cabaye at Newcastle United, earning a move to the Emirates Stadium. But he’s set to get some playing time at Bordeaux, which recently sold a pair of stars to the PL in Henri Saivet (Newcastle) and Wahbi Khazri (Sunderland).

Sunderland is loaning Scottish striker Steven Fletcher to Marseille. Top of mind, the 28-year-old Fletcher is the first British player to head to OM since Joey Barton in 2012.

Fletcher has been little used by Sam Allardyce, and has four goals for club after scoring 7 for Scotland in 2015.

The move seems a bit shortsighted for Allardyce, though that could be a board room demand given Sunderland’s acquisitions in January. Debuchy is surplus at Arsenal and an understandable move.