Given the length of time that Newcastle United were tracking Mathieu Debuchy, I think the Frenchman’s performances in his first six months at the club disappointed a lot of fans, but there are just a few signs that the right back is starting to come of age on Tyneside.
Newcastle finally signed Debuchy from Lille in January of this year for a fee of £5.5 million, but the Magpies had been trying to re-unite Mathieu with his former teammate Yohan Cabaye for many months.
When you add the length of the pursuit to the fact that he’s an international for France, a lot was expected of Debuchy and even he would admit that he didn’t live up to that level of expectation last season.
Debuchy was even linked with a possible exit in the summer, but the 28-year-old is still at St James’ Park and when he looked sluggish and was caught out by Samir Nasri for Manchester City’s fourth goal, fears increased in regards to how he would perform this term.
However, after looking solid enough against West Ham, Debuchy stood up to and came through the physical test posed by Morecambe, winning more than his fair share of aerial battles, before excelling against Fulham.
In Newcastle’s latest Premier League encounter Debuchy showed more of his attacking exploits, shooting from fully 40 yards, getting to the by-line where his delivery just let him down and almost scoring near the end of the 90 minutes.
He still looks like a bit of a liability for a penalty, as Scott Parker took a tumble in the box, but he did enough to be named in the Match of the Day team of the day alongside Newcastle teammates Hatem Ben Arfa and Papiss Cisse.
Now it’s time to Debuchy to kick on and with his best friend Cabaye staying until January at least, Newcastle’s slow starter should be more than happy at the club and start to show why he’s an asset for the Magpies.