Arsene Wenger has revealed why he blocked Mathieu Debuchy from joining Manchester United on loan.
United attempted to ease their defensive crisis by signing the Arsenal full-back on the final day of the January transfer window. But Debuchy, who has fallen behind the impressive Hector Bellerin in the Gunners’ pecking order, subsequently joined Ligue 1 outfit Bordeaux until the end of the season.
And the France international revealed last week that he was frustrated Wenger had denied him the chance to join Louis van Gaal’s side.
“You loan players out to clubs who do not have the resources, but not to direct opponents,” said Wenger ahead of today’s lunchtime fifth-round FA Cup clash against Hull.
“There was nothing shocking in that and it’s true, I stand up for that. I was surprised. I can understand it but I found that logical to block the loan.”
Danny Welbeck could be handed a first start since April after recovering from his injury nightmare. Wenger believes the 25-year-old has grown in character following his spell on the sidelines.
“It’s always a good observation of character and the resilience of a person when they are injured for such a long time,” Wenger said of the former Manchester United forward.
“You look at how he resists that stress of not being capable of playing, how much he can respond with the effort he puts into his rehab, and how focused he can be every day when he goes step by step slowly.
“In Danny’s case, he had a few setbacks when he thought he would come back. Let’s not forget that he got injured in April but we prepared to have him back at the FA Cup final.
“He had a huge setback and I think he has become a stronger man with what happened to him.”
Wenger also revealed he may have ended his Arsenal tenure had his side failed to beat Hull in the 2014 FA Cup final.
Arsenal, who host Steve Bruce’s side in the fifth round of this season’s tournament on Saturday, ended their nine-year trophy drought with a 3-2 victory against Hull.
“I don’t know, honestly, I don’t know,” said Wenger when asked if he would have lost his job if Arsenal had failed to win.
“It was up in the air and we had to give everything to win that final. If we had lost it, I don’t know.
“It would have been a problem if we had not won. It would have been a massive disappointment for everyone, but we won.”
Wenger, who signed a new three-year extension 13 days after the victory, added: “Usually I respect my contracts and I fight for everything. I think as well that if 17 years at a club depend on one cup final, it is better you don’t go to the final.”
Arsenal face Barcelona in the Champions League next week but Wenger is not yet focusing on that assignment, insisting the FA Cup will help him see how his squad is progressing.
Petr Cech will not play this lunchtime, offering a chance for Colombian keeper David Ospina to get some valuable game time. Transfer window signing Mohamed Elneny will also play today.
“I consider the FA Cup being an opportunity to see some players who have not played recently, like Elneny. It has been decided that Ospina will play, so it’s just a coincidence,” said Wenger.
“For me it’s an important game. The best way to prepare for Barcelona is to beat Hull.”
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