The Arsenal first-teamer that looks a fraction of his former self

When Bacary Sagna was refusing to sign a new deal with Arsenal and eventually moved to Manchester City in a search for silverware, the Gunners faced something of a crisis at right-back.

However, fast forward to the current day and the North London side have an embarrassment of riches in the position.

Hector Bellerin has emerged in the first-team set-up and looks like one of the best in his position in the Premier League, while the versatile Calum Chambers has also been added at significant expense to act as cover for the position.

With Carl Jenkinson out on loan at West Ham for the second season and continuing to improve, Arsene Wenger has a host of options to pick from at right-back.

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However, another right-back that appears to have fallen down the pecking order and not full of confidence currently is Mathieu Debuchy.

The France international was regarded as one of the best attacking full-backs in the English game in his time at Newcastle and signed as a direct replacement for Sagna.

However, over the course of his time at the Emirates Stadium, the experienced defender has failed to replicate the form that impressed in the North East. Last season Debuchy was in and out of the Arsenal team and in direct competition for the starting role with Bellerin, with Wenger giving the nod to the older man on a number of occasions.

This season it has been a different story though, with the former Barcelona starlet continuing to evolve and now firmly first-choice in the French coach’s thinking.

It ironically was a relatively serious injury to Debuchy that gave Bellerin the impetus to string together consistent performances in the second half of last season and the gifted Spaniard has not looked back since.

With the youngster unavailable for the recent North London derby with Tottenham, Debuchy was given the nod to face Mauricio Pochettino’s men but did not fill any of the home support with confidence.

The defender was guilty of coughing up possession in dangerous areas, with none of his trademark bombing runs forward evident in the 1-1 draw.

With Debuchy struggling to get to grips with the illusive Christian Eriksen on Spurs’ left, the Frenchman was withdrawn in the second half, with Wenger opting to field midfielder Mathieu Flamini in the full-back role instead.

The start against Tottenham was only Debuchy’s second of the season in the Premier League, with the other on the opening day in home defeat to West Ham.

With Bellerin injured, Debuchy was also in the Arsenal starting line-up that got punished against Bayern Munich, with the defender one of the men ravaged by a relentless Bavarian forward line.

The consensus was that Bellerin, with his pace and building maturity, would have fared much better against the threat of Bayern’s attack than his elder statesman. With Euro 2016 on home soil for the French national side next summer, Debuchy must rightly be sweating on the potential for missing out.

The former Newcastle man’s move to London, which he so coveted, has not worked out for him and the defender is now at a real crossroads in his career.