Arsenal defender Mathieu Debuchy has admitted that he ‘must’ leave the club this month.

The Frenchman has struggled for game time this season amid the fantastic form of 20-year-old starlet Hector Bellerin, leaving Debuchy with just seven appearances for the Gunners in all competitions.

With the European Championship fast approaching in the summer, Debuchy is concerned that he will not have enough time to convince his national side’s manager that he is deserving of a place in the squad.

The 30-year-old former Newcastle full-back admitted to L’equipe that he is currently weighing up options from a number of different sides, including Aston Villa.

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Whatever happens, even if it is to return [to Arsenal] this summer and then start again, I have to go this winter. I can not stay at Arsenal.

As the weeks go by, we get closer to the Euros. I have to play to try to return as soon as March for the Netherlands and Russia friendlies.

I clearly lost six months. I would have preferred to leave last summer but the coach [Arsene Wenger] told me that I would have my chance. Ultimately, it was not the case.

It’s true, they [Villa] are among the teams seeking me. I’m currently studying everything but it’s not a possibility I have excluded.

[Villa’s 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.

[The interest from Leverkusen] is true and it may interest me too. The most important thing is to play in an attractive league.

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Debuchy has remained with Arsenal thus far this January and will likely be in Sunday afternoon’s squad for the trip to the Britannia Stadium, when the north London side take on Mark Hughes’ tricky Stoke City.

If the Gunners leave victors, they will have regained the top spot in the Premier League by two points.