Arsene Wenger handed Mathieu Debuchy a surprise recall for Arsenal’s win over Bournemouth – and then admitted he thought the defender might get injured after he was forced off early in the contest.
The France international had not started a game for the Gunners in over a year and looked set to be leaving the club in January having fallen behind both Hector Bellerin and Carl Jenkinson in the pecking order at the Emirates Stadium.
The superb Alexis Sanchez had already given the hosts the lead, profiting from a weak Steve Cook backpass, before Debuchy injured his hamstring, with Callum Wilson levelling for Bournemouth from the penalty spot soon after.
Theo Walcott toasted the birth of his second son by heading Arsenal back in front, with Sanchez rounding off an impressive display with a late third as the Gunners halted a run of three straight draws in November. They passed the test.
But it was the potentially serious injury to Debuchy, who was replaced by Gabriel, which marred an otherwise positive afternoon for Wenger, whose side remain unbeaten in all competitions since defeat to Liverpool on the opening weekend of the season.
“Debuchy, he thinks it’s a severe one,” he said.
“Don’t go too far because I have to speak to medical people, but you can only assess it really after 48 hours. You have to let it bleed and after, usually they have an MRI scan 48 hours later to see how big the damage is.
“When I picked the squad I imagined that something could happen to Debuchy because he’s had many setbacks.”