Mathieu Debuchy has moved to Saint Etienne on a free transfer, after agreeing to terminate the remainder his contract with Arsenal.
Debuchy agreed a six month contract with the French club, they announced on deadline day. The defender still had six months left on his Arsenal deal according to L’Equipe, or 18 months if you believe Transfermarkt. Either way, he wasn’t a free agent until at least the summer.
— AS Saint-Étienne (@ASSEofficiel) January 31, 2018
In order to complete his move, the Gunners therefore had to terminate his contract early, which they agreed to do. With Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joining, Arsenal needed space on the wage bill, so the financial hit of not receiving a transfer fee probably wasn’t such a big concern.
Debuchy spent three-and-a-half years in North London after joining the club from Newcastle in 2014. Unfortunately, injuries and Hector Bellerin’s emergence limited the Frenchman to 30 senior appearances. He scored two goals and provided one assist in those matches.
The 32-year-old won two Community Shields with Arsenal, and featured in the run to the 2015 FA Cup trophy. Although he was with the club for the 2017 cup, he didn’t play any part in the competition that year.
Now he moves back to Ligue 1, where he’s already made a career 240 appearances. Hopefully he can kick his career back to life in France and maybe even impress Didier Deschamps ahead of the World Cup this summer.
Good luck, Mathieu!