Mathieu Debuchy has not enjoyed the best debut season at Arsenal.

Injuring first his ankle and then having his shoulder dislocated after a shove from a Soke thug, the fullback has spent much of the season on the sidelines.

Fully fit and ready to be included in the squad, Debuchy will be a key asset to have back for the season run-in.

“It’s hard to say [how I rate my first season at Arsenal],” the defender told La Voix des Sports. “I felt good, and then there were these two operations.

“I cannot say it’s a good season, far from it. I would say that it is a black season for me.

“Anyway, I learned a lot during the three months I played and also when I was injured, off the field.

“Although I am disappointed with the season, I’ll keep look on the positive side.”

Commenting on the differences he noticed at Arsenal and Newcastle, he continued “They are nothing alike. I felt that from the first workout.

“Technically, you do better as you train with international players. I immediately saw big differences.”

Debuchy also revealed that he knew his move to Newcastle would always just be a stepping stone

“Yes, it was expected [that Newcastle would be a step].

“After that, you never know what can happen, but I had already talked to my agents, and Newcastle was clearly a step before going into one of the table top clubs.

“I still had a great year and a half in Newcastle. I regret having left the fans, but that was expected.

“Everything was done quickly, I signed up for the World Cup, so I could not say goodbye.

“The president called me, he does not do it with everyone, it was a strong gesture on his part.

“It means that I have done good things in Newcastle.

“It was a bit difficult for me, I had a good relationship with the public and those of the club. It was brutal [the reaction of Newcastle fans], but I’m very happy to be at Arsenal.”

Revealing that Olivier Giroud was a massive help, in both convincing him to join Arsenal and during his injuries, Debuchy continued

“It was tricky. For two to three weeks, I was really down and I had a hard time.

“Luckily, I am fortunate to have a wife who is always there and supports me tremendously.

“My children also were important.

“When you get home, you forget a little while.

“And then there are my parents, my brother, and Olivier (Giroud) who gave me tremendous support. I spent a lot of evenings at home, to make good food.”

He also spoke about Arsene Wenger

“He’s an iconic character.

“Someone who is charismatic and a very good coach. He imposes the experience of the highest level.

“It’s no coincidence when you remain seventeen years in a club. It is even more rare now.

“He further demonstrates his convictions today. When you know that your coach will be Arsene Wenger is a big plus.”

With his time at Arsenal only just beginning, Debuchy would like to retire, not in England, but back at Lille where he spent 20 years from 1993 until his move to Newcastle.

“I still have three and a half years contract at Arsenal, but to finish my career at Lille, that’s my goal.

“I have already said, I would just finish there. But we do not know what can happen, that will be for the head of LOSC to decide, which coach, we do not know.

“But it is an important club for me and I would love to finish my career there.”