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Mathieu Debuchy: "I cannot stay at Arsenal"

Mathieu Debuchy insists that he must leave Arsenal this month amid interest from Aston Villa and Bayer Leverkusen.

Mathieu Debuchy has insisted that he needs to leave Arsenal this month as he looks for regular first-team football.

The 30-year-old defender has featured just twice for the Gunners in the Premier League this season, having apparently being reassured by manager Arsene Wenger over the summer that he would be a part of his plans.

"Clearly I have lost six months," Debuchy told L'Equipe. "I would have preferred to have left last summer but the coach told me I would have my chance. It was not the case. I don't know who is responsible. Last year, I was injured and I was out a long time and [Hector] Bellerin played well.

"This summer, I had a good pre-season and I was ready to begin the season as a starter but the coach decided otherwise. That is competition, no problem. That is football."

Debuchy is now being courted by Premier League basement side Aston Villa and Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen as the Frenchman looks to stake his claim for a place at the Euros.

"They are among the teams who want me," Debuchy added. "I am looking at everything but it is not an option I have ruled out. It could be a great challenge [at Villa]. Whatever happens, even if it is to return [to Arsenal] this summer and then start again, I have to go this winter. I cannot stay at Arsenal.

"[Villa's league position] makes you think. This is also why I take my time before deciding. On the other hand, it can also be a great challenge. While they are currently in difficulty, Aston Villa is one of the major English clubs. This is also why I do not rule out this possibility."

Debuchy last featured for Arsenal on November 24, coming on for the last nine minutes of their 3-0 Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb.

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Mathieu Debuchy of Arsenal in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and West Ham United at Emirates Stadium on August 9, 2015
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