36-year-old Mathieu Debuchy has signed a two-year deal, with an option for a third, with French second division side, Valenciennes.

Mathieu Debuchy via Valenciennes
Mathieu Debuchy via Valenciennes

It’s easy to forget that Mathieu Debuchy was an Arsenal player who could have had a very good career with us had it not been for a Marko Arnautovic shove.

This summer, the 36-year-old found himself without a club after his contract with Saint-Etienne came to an end.

As a free agent, Debuchy had been on the verge of signing for ESTAC Troyes but the deal broke down at the end of July over an ‘inability to find a financial middle ground.’ In other words, he wouldn’t reduce his demands and they wouldn’t up their offer.

Now, however, he has found an agreement that will, if all goes as planned, see him through until his 39th birthday.


Valenciennes are located just 35 minutes away from Debuchy’s hometown, and first club, Fretin. They are currently 15th in Ligue 2 with two points and without a win from their opening three league games.

Debuchy will wear the number 26, the same number he wore with Saint-Etienne and Newcastle, before he moved to Arsenal, where he wore the 2.

Mathieu Debuchy played 30 times for Arsenal, scoring two and assisting one while picking up seven yellow cards and a two-yellow red.