Arsene Wenger: Why I called on Mathieu Debuchy for Arsenal

Arsene Wenger insists he was confident Mathieu Debuchy would be ready to perform for Arsenal despite spell on sidelines

Arsene Wenger has insisted that he had no doubts that Mathieu Debuchy would make it through Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final.

The France defender played the entire 120 minutes as the Gunners needed extra-time to beat Reading at Wembley and book their place in next month’s final against Aston Villa.

Debuchy has only just returned to full fitness after a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to a dislocated shoulder.

However, the Arsenal boss insists that he had no qualms about throwing the France international back into his starting line-up for Saturday’s clash in north London.

“It was a bit risky,” Wenger told Arsenal’s website. “Bellerin has played recently with some ankle problems and Debuchy was back so I thought it was a good moment to do it.

“Debuchy had cramps just before the end of the game but I couldn’t change him, but he is a French international and must be capable of playing in a semi-final against Reading.

“You wait, you wait, at some stage you have to play a game. Kieran Gibbs has not played for a while but he didn’t suffer physically too much.

“Ideally you want everybody to be happy,” Wenger added. “It is part of the job and the most important thing is to get results, for the fans and everybody involved with the club. The majority dominates the minority.“

Debuchy has been limited to just 10 Premier League appearances for Arsenal this season due to injury following his move from Newcastle last summer.

Goals from Alexis Sanchez secured victory and a spot in next month’s final against Villa, who were 2-1 winners over Liverpool on Sunday.

Arsenal return to Premier League action on Sunday when they host leaders Chelsea at Emirates Stadium.

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