There is little cause for optimism at Aston Villa at the current stage of the season as we battle for what would be an almighty great escape from Premier League relegation.
Sat at the foot of the top-flight table and with a gulf of points to recover, let’s face it, things do not look great. The January transfer window is therefore a hope for survival, although there is a train of thought that suggests, Villa are better off saving their money for the Championship. But, if Villa are to stage a recovery, the signings need to be as close to perfect as is possible in the market.
That is easier said than done. A quick glance through the newspapers and Villa sports news feeds is not exactly met with a barrage of exciting gossip on potential new arrivals. This scenario is not a huge surprise as players are not known for their desire to move to a relegation scrap in the middle of a season.
However, one name which has been linked with Villa on a fairly consistent basis is that of Arsenal defender Mathieu Debuchy.
‘Point to Prove’
Having lost his place in Arsenal’s first team to Hector Bellerin, the right-back was not even in the Gunners’ matchday squad for the recent games against Manchester City, Southampton and Newcastle United. Arsenal as a result are reported to be prepared to send him out on loan.
At the age of 30 and with Euro 2016 in his homeland on the horizon, Debuchy will be desperate to be playing in the second half of the campaign in order to try and get a place in France’s squad for the summer’s finals.
That provides him with the motivation to rediscover the form which led Arsenal to pay Newcastle a fee of £12million for his services as recently as the summer of 2014. And that is the sort of ‘point to prove’ attitude which could be vital for a Villa side who, at the time of writing, are at odds 1/50 in the football betting for relegation.
Remi Garde should also have a French connection with Debuchy. Garde operated as a defender or defensive midfielder in his playing days and should have an appreciation of what Debuchy can provide Villa. Garde obviously also played under Arsene Wenger at Arsenal in the 1990s and that relationship could help sway a deal at a stage when West Bromwich Albion are also being linked with Debuchy, although Tony Pulis, at least publicly, ruled the Baggies out.
“I’ve not said a word to Arsenal and Arsenal have not said a word to me, so that’s a definite no,” he said, this week.
It is also not just in defence where Debuchy could provide a boost, making him an enticing replacement for Alan Hutton.
In that 2013/14 Premier League season with Newcastle before he joined Arsenal, Debuchy produced three assists and one goal. That is a more than useful contribution for a defender. You can also see in the video above that Debuchy has an eye for the spectacular when on international duty. That could provide Villa with some added attacking impetus given we are the lowest scoring side in the league as of early January.
Villa need to demonstrate some positivity and former Lille man Debuchy, although he has his injury weaknesses, could at least be a step in the right direction and, as a loan, would not be too much of a risk.
Debuchy would give us some attacking instinct from the back combined with defensive nous. That killer instinct is the sort of attitude we need to display to have any chance of performing a miracle and avoiding the drop, or at the very least getting some pride back.