Mathieu Debuchy was one of five Frenchmen brought in a year ago, to help save Newcastle’s Premier League status, and the five of them – Mathieu Debuchy, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Moussa Sissoko, Yoan Gouffran and Massadio Haidara helped us to do that – but only just.
Mathieu Debuchy - in action at Crustal Palace
And while all five struggled in the first few months on Tyneside, all signings a year later look to be good ones, and of the five – 28 year-old Mathieu Debuchy has been the most outstanding, and he is now one of the top right-backs in the Premier League and a French International regular, and he’s been in great form over the last four months or so for the Magpies.
Newcastle had tried to sign Mathieu in the summer of 2012, but we couldn’t agree a fee with his club Lille, but we got the lad through the door six months later, and his best friend Yohan Cabaye was a big factor in having Debuchy join the club.
And in the Chronicle a couple of days ago, Yohan has talked about his best mate:
“It was difficult for Mathieu when he first came here last January because the team was not doing well.” “It is always tough to change your country and your club.”
“He couldn’t speak English or understand it, so myself, Sylvain and Gabby used to translate for him.” “It took a bit of time for him to adapt, but now he understands what the Premier League is about.”
“He has a great mentality, great fight and great fitness, and is a big player for the team.”
The good news is that Debuchy will return to the side at Norwich City on Tuesday night, after serving his three match ban for being sent off for a dangerous two-footed tackle in the 1-0 defeat at West Brom on New Year’s Day.
We’ll probably have three of those five Frenchmen starting on Tuesday night – Mathieu, Moussa Sissoko and Yoan Gouffran with the other two – Haidara and Yanga=Mbiwa on the bench.
For the record Mathieu has played 36 times with one goal over the last year, and he’s an automatic starter – just like his best friend Yohan Cabaye.
We need to get all three points at Carrow Road on Tuesday night.
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