Mathieu Debuchy speaks out about how Louis van Gaal tried to sign him in 2016

by Leo Nieboer

Former Arsenal full-back Mathieu Debuchy has revealed that Arsene Wenger blocked him from joining Manchester United.

The Frenchman joined Arsenal from Newcastle United in 2014 but a constant stream of injuries limited him to just 30 appearances before moving to Saint Etienne last month.

Louis van Gaal, following a truly miserable December, made attempts to bring the player to Old Trafford on loan in the January transfer window back in 2016, but no move ever materialised.

And Debuchy, reflecting on his time at Arsenal, vented his frustration at Arsene Wenger for denying him the chance to join Man United.

“I would have liked to have left Arsenal earlier and to have played for a different club,” he said.

“There were moments when I was angry with the manager. There was an approach from Manchester United and he did not want me to leave.”

A lot of weird things happened during the Van Gaal era: Phil Jones taking corners, Robin van Persie in midfield, ‘horny’ football, sex-masochism, Queens Park Raisins, “YEEESSSSSS, WE GO FOR IT!!”, Angel di Maria, failing to score before half time for eight home games in a row, somehow winning the FA Cup.

I could go on. For just under two years the greatest club in the world was essentially taken over – nay, assimilated – by the mind of a cantankerous, slightly crazy Frankenstein figure.

And just imagine if Van Gaal, following what many regard as one of the worst months in the club’s recent history, wheeled out Mathieu bloody Debuchy to top it all off.

A truly bonkers, ineffective manager, but one I miss in an obscure kind of way.

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