Why Wenger has changed targets from Aurier to Debuchy: By the Numbers

Why Wenger has changed targets from Aurier to Debuchy: By the Numbers

Earlier this summer I was 100% certain that Ivorian wunderkind Serge Aurier was set to join Arsenal but recent quotes from French international Mathieu Debuchy have proven that the transfer winds blow swift and if you’re not alert you can get caught with your pants down. What kind of metaphor is that? Mixed and terrible. The point is that somewhere along the line and for some unknown reason Arsenal changed tack away from Aurier and on to Debuchy.

Arsenal had made contact with Aurier and were in talks with the Ivorian but apparently Debuchy came up as a cheaper and more ready made replacement for Sagna and Arsene has jumped at the chance to get  the Newcastle man. I was asked on twitter how it is possible that Arsenal are negotiating with players before the team that holds their contract, isn’t that against some kind of rule? The reality is that’s how transfers work these days. I’m not saying Arsenal were tapping up either player, I’m sure they got permission from their respective teams, but rather I’m reminding everyone that players have all the power, which is why Arsenal are negotiating with the player before negotiating a transfer fee.

So, why would Arsene go after Debuchy when he basically had Aurier nailed on? In many ways, Aurier and Debuchy are very similar to Sagna and in one critical way they are different.

First, size wise all three right backs are almost exactly the same.

size

Debuchy is 1cm taller than the other guys and also outweighs Sagna by 4kg which is, like, 30lbs, (or 8.8lbs)  right? As you can see all three players are very close in every category except age and average appearances. 22 year old players still have much to learn and especially in defense, positioning, and learning to sense when to go forward and when to stay back are all important skills that you develop with experience.

Toulouse leveraged Aurier’s tremendous physical stamina and as a result Serge Aurier was given a more free role down the right than he would probably have at Arsenal, especially with outright forwards Theo Walcott and/or Alexis Sanchez in front of him. The result of all of Aurier’s forward play is that he ended up carrying a significant portion of Toulouse’s attack. For a fullback to take 13% of his team’s shots, and not only that but most of his shots were in the opposition 18 yard box, indicates that the fullback is getting way further forward than we are used to seeing from our fullbacks at Arsenal. Imagine Stewart Robson’s apoplectic rage seeing Aurier constantly in the opposition final third?

ooffense

As you can see from both graphics at this point, Debuchy is more Sagna than Aurier: that is to say that he’s older and more conservative in his play. Not entirely conservative but Sagna did take about half as many shots as Debuchy and less than 1/3 as many shots as Aurier and Aurier carried a lot of Toulouse’s attack.

If you watched any of the Ivory Coast’s World Cup matches then you know that Aurier puts in some wicked crosses. His two assists in their opening game came from crosses and those two weren’t even his best crosses on the day. As we saw earlier, Aurier gets forward a lot for Toulouse and as a result has ample chances to put in crosses. He attempted an astounding 191 crosses for the French team while Debuchy tried just 96. Overall, Aurier and Sagna attempted more passes, more crosses, and more long passes than Debuchy. This is a key role at Arsenal for the fullbacks. They provide width to the three-man midfield often acting as a 4th or 5th midfielder and outlet for the creative players when they are under pressure. At Newcastle, Debuchy was used in the more traditional way that fullbacks are deployed so his passing numbers are low. But problematically, he played in a 4-3-3 with France in the World Cup and really didn’t up his passing numbers much, going from 34.9 for Newcastle to 35.8 for France. France averaged about the same number of passes per game as Newcastle (about 180 fewer PER GAME than Arsenal) so perhaps that explains why his numbers remained low.

crosses-two

Despite the freedom to roam forward, Aurier was still required to defend and he did so with aplomb, posting great tackle and interceptions numbers for Toulouse:

Debuchy defense

 

That said, Debuchy is one of the Premier League’s most prolific tackling fullbacks. He won 17% of Newcastle’s tackles while only committing 10% of their fouls. His high foul number, however, in part comes from the fact that he is a 55% tackler. Sagna is a 57% tackler and Aurier is the most efficient of the three at 65%.  Aurier still posted high foul numbers because (DUHHHH) not all fouls come from bad tackles. All three players were very good in terms of errors, with Aurier topping the bunch with 2, though, that’s not a bad number. A bad number would be 6, that’s how many defensive errors Thomas Vermaelen made two seasons ago.

As you can see t this point, Sagna and Debuchy are very similar in terms of defending and in their attacking responsibilities. I have to wonder if Debuchy can pick up Sagna’s passing numbers but I’m not overly concerned there either because he isn’t a terrible passer by any stretch.

But there’s one other area that is crucial at Arsenal for the right back and that is in aerial duels. Bacary Sagna is only 5’8′ but he has an uncanny knack for winning headers. Winning headers isn’t all about size; determination, timing, and leaping ability all play a huge part and Bac had that part down pat. In fact, Bac was so strong in the air that he was often used as an outlet for Szczesny’s long kicks. As a result, before Giroud showed up, Sagna led Arsenal in aerial duels won per game and in aerial duel percentage and he is still #1 and 2 in those departments.

Aurier is the same size as Sagna and plays in France, which is a less “headlier” league than England, and yet his aerial duels percentage is 7 points lower than Bac. He’s getting about the same number of tries (150 for Aurier, 180 for Bac) but just isn’t winning as many.

aerials

What’s incredible is Debuchy’s aerial ability.  I have watched him play a number of times over the last year and a half and can’t say I remember him being so good in the air but apparently he is. According to the Opta stats, the Frenchman wins 4/5.7 aerial duels per game. That’s so odd that I had to go back and look at individual games and sure enough the guy makes a ton of headed clearances and wins 70% of his aerial battles.

In the end, I still like Aurier because I’m a sucker for good offensive fullback but Arsene switching to Debuchy is a no brainer. The Newcastle man costs half as much and is in almost every way a ready-made replacement for Bacary Sagna. In fact, he might even be a slight upgrade. There is a reason why Debuchy got the nod over Sagna for France in the World Cup.

Qq

@7amkickoff

120 COMMENTS

    • As much as Aurier would be the more exciting signing, have to agree with Wenger on this on as well. Debuchy seems like a like for like replacement for Sagna and though Sagna leaves us wanting on the offensive end his consistency and defensive prowress is still invaluable especially considering Mertesacker’s lack of pace and it’s balances us better with Gibbs being more attacking(read:caught out of position).
      I think ideally we should buy Debuchy this season, with all the new signings in key positions it’s better to play it safe(because as spurs showed us too many new players is bound to make the whole worse than the sum of the parts). In a season or two we should bring in Aurier, it will bring versatility to our right back position as both Debuchy and Jenkinson are more defensive fullbacks. We could , for example play Aurier against weaker teams to kill them off faster with the extra talent but use Debuchy and (long term ) Jenkinson when we are playing against a lethal winger.

      Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  1. Great statistical analysis!

    But I honestly think it might not have to do with most of that but simply has to do with their experience, age and PL experience. PL experience is self explanatory, if it’s a normal case then Debuchy won’t take too long to settle at Arsenal at least compared to Aurier.

    Debuchy is also 28, turning 29, he has played give a few good years before handing the spot to Jenkinson/Bellerin who I’m sure Wenger has a lot of faith in. The other thing that has to do with age and experience that most people seem to forget is that we now no longer have an older rightback to mentor Jenkinson and Bellerin and teach them a few tricks.

    And lastly, we have some very important games around the January-Feburary period, possibly season defining games. The problem with Aurier would be that he would have to go to AFCON and that would mean us missing our first choice RB for a crucial time in the season.

    I think this stuff played a part in Wenger’s mind as well.

    Thumb up 315 Thumb down 5

    • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

      Poorly-rated Thumb up 6 Thumb down 225

        • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

          Poorly-rated Thumb up 8 Thumb down 136

        • Giroud’s strength isn’t in putting home each and every half chance that falls his way, it’s in the way he can create space and bring other midfielders into play. And he’s extremely intelligent. Just look at Ramsey’s goal in the FA Cup final- without Giroud having the presence of mind to run away from the goal and create space for a runner, Ramsey doesn’t score. He’s not a top level striker, but he’s not mid table either. I’m willing to bet that with someone other than Giroud as our striker, Ramsey gets about 5 goals fewer over an entire injury free season. Giroud’s one of the most unselfish strikers I’ve seen, and if he only had a bit of pace he’d be fantastic. Even without it, he’s still good enough to be at Arsenal, just not as the guy playing more than 50 games per season.

          Thumb up 75 Thumb down 3

        • You’re right, when a player can’t finish some of his chances that we selectively remember, by default it can be said with my scientific expertise and Ph.D in neurology that said player could be described to have a ‘weak brain’, of which the definition I have written down in another academic journal.

          Please believe me, because I like Arsenal just as much as you and thus I have the right to sound like an absolute bellend. Thank you.

          Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

      • Giroud does miss big chances and is frustrating in that regard. He also seems to lack the ability to turn his opponent and create havoc off the dribble but he’s far from useless. He’s a big target man and he does a great job bringing others into the play, him and Sanchez together is a mouth watering proposition, really. He’ll win the ball and battle up front creating space and time for Sanchez. Sanchez’s ability to take others off the dribble will also create time and space for Giroud. I like the idea of having both in the team for their diversity if for no other reason than the fact that they give the boss options.

        Thumb up 146 Thumb down 2

        • And since Giroud does fine against non top-4 teams, and I’m sure Sanchez can lead the line himself as well, they don’t even have to play together all the time. The options! Actually the excitement with how Sanchez can combine with any of the top 3 is pretty exciting…

          Thumb up 30 Thumb down 1

  2. As always, excellent analysis. Really perked me up to see Debuchy’s aerial numbers, as that’s one of the things I’ve thought we’ll miss most about Bac.

    No objections to this signing (if it happens) – seems likes decent choice on many levels and, as has been oft-remarked, it’s nigh on impossible to improve on Sagna, so I’m happy getting a decent, but not equal, replacement. Rather not spend huge money on RB.

    Thumb up 98 Thumb down 2

  3. I think Debuchy is the perfect replacement for Sagna. Can be the perfect mentor both Jenks and Bellerin (I rate them both highly). Now that the right back position is secured for a considerable amount of time, I’ll be happy if we manage to get Sanchez, a backup GK and a holding mid. A replacement for Ludivine on top of that will be awesome.

    Thumb up 130 Thumb down 1

    • I would love to know how he’s going to mentor Jenks as he hardly speaks a word of English..

      Everyone is entitled to their own opinion on him, even me, and I think the guy has looked distinctly average in a distinctly average Newcastle side. Nothing stands out (aerial numbers aside) and the guy’s poor attitude leaves a bad taste in my mouth when I see him in a Newcastle shirt, let alone a red one.

      He’s a coward, a bottler and a leg-breaker waiting to happen.

      Here are my references – http://youtu.be/yVSKRDGOY1c?t=33s http://youtu.be/BXrwBCnkLgI?t=4m50s

      Hope we don’t sign this guy and if we do I hope Jenks restricts him to as little football as possible.

      Thumb up 8 Thumb down 33

      • Not sure why people are thumbing this down- It’s a pessimistic outlook on a potential new signing but they justified their opinion fairly well relative to the usual miserable bleating.

        I worry about a player capable of such rash stupidity too. Those two challenges were insanely poor and exactly the sort of action that really undid us throughout the last few seasons in the big games.

        Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  4. Debuchy’s age means Jenkinson will have a few years to develop and then take over as first choice right back.

    Jenko is a gooner through and through. Seen photos of his old bedroom at his parents house – still has Arsenal wallpaper and AFC duvet cover.

    Thumb up 67 Thumb down 1

    • Will Jenkinson ever be good enough?

      Despite his obvious love for the club I’m not so sure. He makes basic mistakes including many headed failures.

      Thumb up 32 Thumb down 43

    • Looks like Aurier has been a long-term fan as well… if that counts.
      Seems like a mistake to pass on Aurier. He may be better than Jenks; he may develop into a more advanced position (didn’t Bale start off as a full back?). At one point in the WC group stage he was ranking no.1 in speed. He can clearly pass and score, so why not grab him and develop him? Maybe put Jenks on and 1yr loan to a team that would put him in as a starter.

      I know that we are quite crowded for talent on the right, but it also depends on the development of others. I am wondering if Campbell is as good as we want him to be; Theo could play more as a striker; they talk about Ox being a CM; could be hard for Gnabry to get more time; and if Sanchez is indeed in, then he really needs to go up front, primarily. Experimenting with Aurier could provide much more depth.

      Thumb up 35 Thumb down 7

      • We sign Debuchy, Newcastle to sign Aurrier. We see Aurrier on highlight reels ripping John Terry’s thunder cunt apart. We start to resent Debuchy even though he’s a more than capable replacement for Sagna. #WengerOut starts to trend on Twitter. You heard it here first.

        Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

    • “Debuchy’s age means Jenkinson will have a few years to develop and then take over as first choice right back. ”

      Ugh. If that’s the case, then we should have signed Sagna up to the deal he wanted, saving ourselves a transfer fee while keeping a longtime Arsenal player who already is very comfortable with our system and probably already has a fine mentoring relationship with Jenkinson and can transition into being a high quality backup at CB and RB if Jenkinson fulfills his potential.

      Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    • Wait, your contention is that it was good business to let go a player we already had and could have resigned without a fee, to pay money to acquire a player who’s almost as old, no better, and won’t have any resale value at the end of a contract of any length, while eschewing the opportunity to acquire a young player who is clearly as good as either other option and is still improving?

      Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  5. Good article.

    I’d pick aurier.

    1. because of his attacking potential. we lack fullbacks that cause danger “enough”. Good crossing and dribbling.

    2. Jenks should fight for his position. if he can’t compete with aurier now and aurier is still crafting his trade then he’s not ours. hope he progresses this season.

    3.BFG is a good mentor for any young defender.

    4.(….ARRRGH). … let’s just sign our Sanchez, debuchy, DM,keeper and CB if verminator leaves. Tired of waiting. how many days to pre-season?

    Thumb up 21 Thumb down 42

    • 1. Fullbacks are defensive first and foremost – they should be solid defensively before thinking about ‘causing danger.’ As for Arsenal’s team, it’s more important that our RB is more defensively orientated and our LB has more freedom in attack – Gibbo is more than capable.

      2. Players develop when playing matches – Aurier has been playing in a less-competitive league, but still has been playing first team football for quite awhile now. Jenkinson is lucky to get 2 games in a row, and has been developing quite nicely nonetheless. The whole point is that Jenkinson will grow into the role, which is why we signed a more experienced RB to begin with.

      3. BFG is a centerback, hard to see how he can mentor a FB position.

      4. Watch some world cup!

      Thumb up 79 Thumb down 2

      • Would just like to remind ye that Keown was never that ‘attacky’ as our RB but my word is he my RB hero. Would put the shits up any striker. Same goes for Lauren. Unsure of their attacking stats though. Just going by all the games I’ve seen of theirs.

        Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

    • All other things being equal, I’d probably pick Aurier precisely because he’s younger and therefore more likely to improve. Also of course he will have some resale value. Am perfectly happy with Debuchy, though. Have always liked him and wanted him at Arsenal.

      I’ve no idea why Wenger switched. Perhaps something to do with the way Aurier performed at the World Cup. Not that he wasn’t excellent; more likely to be do with his style and how Wenger imagines he’d fit into the team. Feel sorry for the lad. He was so desperate to come and so sure it was going to happen.

      Thumb up 13 Thumb down 6

      • Jesus we’ve come 2008-2012 where all we seemed to have were unproven youngsters and were crying out for experience. Debuchy is by far and away the best signing if we want to win again this season. Yes aurier may grow into a philip lahm but do you really want to wait patiently for that to happen? Really? I’m still almost feeling like I never want us to sign another player under 23 again!

        Thumb up 17 Thumb down 3

      • My guess is that he may well have been at an advanced stage about coming to us, but Wenger perhaps wasn’t so keen on Aurier making it public the way he did.

        Was talking to a Geordie friend of mine who rates Debuchy highly and reckons he is a typical Wenger signing – that, combined with the stats above, makes me feel confident we are getting a great bargain at 10mil.

        Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  6. Great, great piece- for the humility and intelligence with which you’ve re-considered your view. Those aerial duel numbers surprised me as well the first time I saw them a couple of weeks back but the moment I saw them it convinced me that Debuchy was well worth it. That option on the out ball is absolutely critical some times and a full back who can balance physicality, stamina and skill is always going to do better in an Arsenal side than one who excels in just one or two of those.

    Most of all I’m really happy that there’s a willingness to go for the player in his prime and at an age where he is desperate for trophies rather than the one who cannot be expected to be at the top of his game from day 1 and who can always afford to add Arsenal to his CV as work ex.

    Thumb up 39 Thumb down 5

  7. Those numbers look to me like Aurier is the better choice. Simply a beast… But also he’s 22, not 29…… But I may be biased since I grew up in the ivory coast.

    Thumb up 38 Thumb down 4

    • Do you go back for a month every 2 years just for the African Football Federations money raising event (The ACN)?

      Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  8. Love these by the numbers that you guys do. Looks like it takes a lot of time and research too. Very impressive

    Thumb up 59 Thumb down 0

  9. I can’t say that I would be upset with signing Debuchy as I think he is a ready made replacement for Sagna. My only concern with the signing is his age. We are putting ourselves right back in the same situation we had with Sagna. He won’t want to sign a new contract because we will only give him one year deals. So, we have effectively staked our future on Jenks, who I like, but hasn’t proven he’s really ready. I would prefer Aurier myself but again, Debuchy is a safer and cheaper alternative. Not surprising we are going that route either.

    Thumb up 10 Thumb down 10

    • Seems like the Plan is to have Debuchy for 2-3 years and hope Jenkinson will be ready by then. If neither Jenko and Bellerin will be good enough when Debuchy leaves then will see. But that’s the worse case scenario.

      Thumb up 30 Thumb down 0

      • Lets not worry ourselves about our rb position 2-3 years away when wenger is finally bringing in players who are ready to help us lift silverware TODAY!

        Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    • when we buy some young player people complaining its “wenger youth project”n when we buy experience ready made player they complain he is too old ,

      we have not just carl but we have bellerin too at right back both young prospect so having debuchy for 3/4 years is perfect signing.
      no idea why people find more exciting to buy aurier instead debuchy, for me i never find a new Rb exciting as long its not another santos type fullback who give me heart attack everytime the other team run at him
      i find more interresting if we are going to buy Sanchez or not, if we are getting a solid DM,

      Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  10. Would I be right in thinking that Wenger was asked about Aurier about a year ago, and conceded that he was a good player but that there were questions about his temperament and attitude? I wonder if that might play a part in his final decision, and incidentally, in his choice not to bring Fabregas back?

    Thumb up 25 Thumb down 1

    • got to say id still have taken Fabregas back and put cazorla out of the 10 role and to the left entirely and rotated Özil and Fabregas with added benefit that he wouldnt be at chavski, but then im not as principled as Arsene

      Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  11. My only concern with Debuchy is whether he is as versatile as Sagna. Otherwise I’d say Debuchy is an upgrade.

    Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  12. I agree with the analysis. Debuchy is pretty much a 1:1 replacement for Sagna, making him the perfect RB signing. His presence will give us time to develop our current RB talents (and they both have potential).

    In all honesty, I can’t think of any available RB I’d rather sign. Make it happen – the sooner, the better!

    Thumb up 28 Thumb down 0

  13. Aurier is a very exciting talent and he “Screams” Arsenal player material. But getting Debuchy is the perfect decision IMO. He is perfect for Arsenal, Skill wise and Social wise with the other French players in the squad. Debuchy is a top class Right Back. An experienced, Hard working, all round player who knows the PL. He is good attacking and defending (might not be as reliable as Sagna but he’s decent defensively). He will give us 2-3 good years and will give Jenkinson time to keep improving. There is no other Right Back in the world i would currently take over Debuchy for Arsenal (unless Lahm is included :/ ). I’m not exaggerating, i really think Debuchy is currently one of the best Right Backs in Europe

    Thumb up 18 Thumb down 2

  14. Great analysis, Serge Aurier probably would take a season to “settle in” however the rumours are that Tottenham or Chelsea are ready to jump in and sign Aurier

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  15. Aurier would not cost twice the amount that Debuchy will. Ridiculous. The truth is that Arsenal would prefer Aurier but he has been informed that PSG are interested. Simple.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 14

  16. I think you Gunners fans will be disappointed. A heart as big as a pea and deliberately got sent off last season when we got stuffed 6-0 at home against Liverpool. A part of a back four who have been hammered on numerous occasions since he joined in January 2013 and if you play him alongside Mertesacker you better buy Messi and Ronaldo to score enough goals to win you the game.

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 21

  17. @ariddingnme, i dont think afcon plays in january anymore, i think they have moved it to june, i could be wrong

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

    • Nope still in Jan. Most leagues in Africa still run on a calendar year i.e Jan/Feb to December, so I doubt it it will ever move

      Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  18. For me the defining reason for choosing Debuchy over Aurier is the Premier League experience. There shouldn’t need to be the adjustment period, he’ll already know most of the opponents, and is aware of the physical nature of the game over here.

    Probably Aurier has more long-term upside but things can happen to players with potential which mean they don’t fulfil it

    Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  19. Another factor is that we don’t have to release French players for the African Cup of Nations every other season

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  20. Good analysis, still think Debuchy is inferior to Aurier overall and am disappointed if. IF. We haven’t signed shit yet and until someone new wears Puma I
    don’t think anything is done.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  21. Aurier would also go to the AFCON and disintegrate our season. Another reason to avoid him and go for Debuchy.

    Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  22. Wenger may also be thinking of himself..given he only has a few years (possibly/hopefully extended) on his new contract he may not be so willing to wait for the rb to develop, as his norm with players. Therefore debuchy’s prime now is more attractive than aurier’s when wenger leaves.

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

  23. Great work. Although I wouldn’t pass on aurier to spare Stewart Robson’s rage, all the more reason to sign him up!

    Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  24. Yes, yes this is all well and good but where are the side by side pictures of Ludivine and Debuchy’s wife/gf? Shouldn’t we be analysing them too.

    Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  25. Very interesting stats, especially the heading ability of debuchy.

    Purely from watching them both play, I think Debuchy is better going forward than Sagna. Apart from corners, Sagna rarely ventures into the box whereas Debuchy can come in inside to join the attack as well as overlap and hug the touchline when needed. saying that, Sagna is the better defender.

    Happy if this goes through.

    Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  26. Feel like the title betrays the info here.

    Wenger has changed targets because Debuchy is older and not as good? Something i agree with but it’s an odd policy.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 26

  27. I’d take debuchy, because in 2 or 3 years when we are considering his age and longevity the can jenks do it issue should be resolved 1 way or the other

    Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  28. Great article. Love it when someone does their homework and reasons so well. Like you I prefer Aurier. In a couple of years Debuchy will be 31 and we will be looking again. Aurier being young would have a good sell on value. But my main worry would be if another quality Premier League buys him he could cause us a lot of problems. I’d rather play with him than against him. Also Aurier would suit a high intensity game. I’ve watched Debuchy a lot and have noticed how many times he has been caught out of position and lost the ball very easily whilst attacking the opposition, putting Newcastle’s defence at risk. I’m sure Wenger can counter that in training though. Aurier though seems to get back quickly to amend for his mistakes. Aurier reminds me of Ashley Cole in his terrier like abilities. Still no complaint. Debuchy is stylish and quick and may rise to the occasion

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  29. Must the replacement be a French surely?
    As far as I am concerned Aurier impressed more at the WC than debuchy
    Age does not matter he might be 22 but the boy is class

    Thumb up 8 Thumb down 9

    • the WC is a few weeks, if we sign him we then need to not only get him used to our players and way of playing, but also a physically demanding league, aside from whether Aurier is capable of disciplined positional play or not we can avoid the process / risk of our new rightback not being suited to the physicality of the league entirely by signing debuchy who holds premier league experience, more importantly we dont lose the aerial prowess of sagna as debuchy replicates it.

      Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  30. Tom Watt, bingo! Sound like you actually KNOW football. If you get a full back that’s constantly bombing forward, you either need a CB who can cope with pace on the counter or you need to devote resources from midfield to help. Debuchy would help on two fronts – help protect BFG and hold the place until Jenko is ready.

    Debuchy played ahead of Sagna at the World Cup. And we all know that Sagna is no slouch. Plus, comparing Debuchy and Sagna’s starts is more appropo. The competed against the same level of competition. Comparing them to Aurier is apple to oranges because Aurier didn’t play against EPL level of competition week in week out. He still needs to prove he can play against top level competition consistently

    Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

    • That discrepancy in playing level is why I used percent of team contribution as a factor. But sorting out a team’s relative strength in a league and comparing leagues to leagues is a daunting task and one that even the best minds have struggled with.

      Worse, predicting how Debuchy will play at Arsenal is a bit of a crap shoot. He looks good at Newcastle numerically but honestly a player could make 98% of their passes, create 10 shots for teammates, make 8/9 tackles, score a goal and still have a bad game if they make just two bone head errors. That’s the reality of football stats and player performances in football. We tend to only remember the really big events and those big events paint a much bigger picture of a player’s performance than most of the other stats combined.

      Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  31. I like the fact that you are also check the pass volume comparison between France and Arsenal. Top analysis Tim.

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  32. Sorry to break it to you but if you think you’re getting an upgrade on Sagna you’re going to be severely disappointed.
    He was (finally!) shunted to the wing because the lad can’t defend. It just took the genius Pardew too long to realise this and we shipped a ton of stupid goals because of him. If we replace Debuchy with Richards (and he can stay fit) I’ll be over the fookin moon!

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  33. Yes, it is a very good analysis, but it’s irrelevant and meaningless. Arsene was never in for Aurier, the rumours were all based on Aurier’s own declarations. Arsene has purposely sold or released all of his ACN players and will not consider signing another one until the ACN is moved to every four years rather than every two years. If you hear any rumours about ACN players, you can automatically discount them, whoever they are.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  34. Tim, it’s a great analysis. I just want the “we should have signed Aurier” crowd to give Debuchy a chance before they start saying he is shit. If their is one thing I trust, it’s Arsene’s judgement. His judgement has kept him and arsenal at the top end of football for almost two decades. I won’t question him now. Not to say the analysis was questioning his judgement but I’m sure some of the so-called fans do

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  35. Let’s get this clear: This move is NOT in any way because Wenger feels Debuchy would be much better for the team in Aurier.

    It’s because Wenger has a fantastic young right-back prospect of his own in Hector Bellerin and does not want to hurt his track to the first team. Debuchy will give us two or three good years, by which time he’ll be 31 or 32 and then ready to pass the torch to Bellerin.

    Aurier, on the other hand, would only be 22, so one of them would have eventually had to go.

    Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  36. Let’s debunk this whole Aurier isn’t suitable for Arsenal idea.

    1. Aurier’s foray up field can be solved by signing an athletic and disciplined DM who can shield and protect BFG.

    2. Aurier can work well with Walcott as Walcott likes to take up central positions leaving the right flank to Aurier.

    3. Aurier can also work well with Carzola too as Carzola like to hang back and pick out runners. Aurier can push beyond Carzola easily.

    4. How many RBs in the world are able to influence a game offensively to such degree?

    Ok now that we have gotten that out of the way, Debuchy do have some upsides in the defensive department compared to Aurier as explained in this article. And I am glad that we got a signing in before preseason has started.

    But the real reason why the Aurier pursuit is called off is probably his price tag. Monaco or some other money bag will sign Aurier for something like 30M euros. Aurier is now too sexy due to the WC.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  37. The utter nonsense of statistics again, cut the cloth to fit the desired suit.

    1) Aurier is still relatively inexperience

    2) …he will also need to adapt to PL

    3) Debucchy has plenty of PL experience.

    4) …he will likely cost much less

    5) Jenknson and (possibly) Bellerin are in queue. Debucchy serves a convenient stop gap. Aurier will block their path completely.

    6) Debucchy is not ahead of Sagna in the national team for no reason.

    7) It’s got nothing to do with height.

    ;)

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  38. Did I mention it is difficult to cross compare statistics of a french based player with that of one in the PL league?

    Intangibles.

    Which is why you can’t fully understand football like an American sport not fully poopooing statistics entirely of course. It has its use.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  39. Bullshit,the stats themselves show that Aurier is a risk worth taking. I don’t remember debuchy making any noise at the worldcup? Plus,he supports our team for Gods sake!! What better reason would you need to sign the guy?

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

    • He scored a great goal against Australia and played really well during the group stage, even impressing my friends who support Newcastle. The reason Aurier made noise is because he’s young and has pace. The media love those kinds of players since you don’t have to understand football to see what good they’re doing.

      Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    • It’d be pretty hard to find a significant upgrade on Ludivine Sagna. In fact, the only possible competitor that springs to mind is Cheryl Cole. Anyone got any other suggestions?

      Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  40. With the ability to read Wenger’s mind sometimes – I believe it has to do with Arsene not wanting two young Right-Backs. One experience where Jenkinson and Bellerin can still learn from.
    Having two young players in a position as important as RB can backfire when push comes to shove.
    I still believe Jenkinson is one defender that will mave wave someday.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  41. Why are we trying to sign Sanchez for fuck sake? That little fella at no 10 for the Argies is much better. Why don’t we just snap him up. Fucking clueless manager, what the fuck does he know anyway??

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  42. Should have gone all-in for Aurier, if nothing else than to see Stewart Robson’s apoplectic rage.

    I would pay big money to watch him pop a blood vessel in his temple.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  43. What’s done has been done. Debuchy has been picked (for a great price) so let’s move on from what could have been. He’s experienced and will fill the position effectively enough. More money left for a nice big striker signing remember!?

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  44. okay important thing to note is we have hector bellerin who is a great young fullback and jenkinson who is also young…it makes sense to buy an older RB if you want to integrate the young fullbacks with a lot of potential into the team…

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  45. Interesting piece. I don’t understand why Debuchy would be half the price, Debuchy is linked at £10-13m. Aurier would cost £8m, but certainly not £24m surely. Then there is longevity to consider. Debuchy is fine for 4 seasons but Aurier for 10 so £8m for 10 years or £12m for 4. The value is in Aurier surely.

    I think the main point is attacking itent. Yes Arsenal love an attacking full back but Aurier plays too freely and Arsenal’s full backs have gone walkabouts too much even last season when we had definitely tighted up. Aurier might be one for 2 years down the line. We just cannot risk Aurier now because he’d struggle to play a disciplained role. Jenkinson likes to get forward and cross too like Aurier, but at least with Debuchy there is balance.

    A final consideration is adapation. The french prem ready 29 year old will be likely to be an easy fit in a team consisting of several french players.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  46. Great analysis.
    You didn’t mention what I believe to be one of Debuchy’s main strenghts. He is VERY FAST. A very speedy runner. Much speedier than Sagna. Have you got any stats on this?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  47. Why not play a mastet stroke. Debuchy is 29…soon he will be the age when we let Sagna go off. Tie down Aurier and loan him back to New castle where he will gain thw exp needed. Jenkinson is good but not good enough (maybe i am wrong). But is the modern day full back.Wenger can cut 1/4 of his wings so that he doesn’t go forward too much and we can have a classy,tackling,scoring right back who can cross with great aplomb.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  48. Good statistics and analysis on these players, as for our costa rican star j. Campbell plays well, and keeper navas

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  49. Well, its a tough choice because Aurier offers the highest possible upside of a potential RB recruit. I can see why Wenger decided against him, having your Right-Back position covered by two 22 year olds is somewhat of a concern and Aurier is very often downright irresponsible in the way he bombs down the flank. As an attacker he offers a huge upside but his defending would have needed to be seriously worked on with Steve Bould, Debuchy offers a more calming, veteran influence on the side and the fact that he’s French is a double win.

    This also surely signals Wenger’s faith in Jenkinson and to a lesser extent Bellerin as the future of the position since he apparently didn’t see it as a desirable idea to have Aurier and Jenkinson in competition. Part of me still wants Aurier because of his upside, intangibles and overall ability but I appreciate Wenger playing it safe on this one.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

Leave a Reply