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'Newcastle reunion will be special'

Mathieu Debuchy

Mathieu Debuchy is in line to face his former club Newcastle United for the first time on Saturday, and is anticipating a "special" encounter with his former team-mates.

The France international defender played 46 times during 18 months at St James' Park, before joining the Gunners after the World Cup in the summer.

Having returned from injury for Tuesday night's win over Galatasaray, Debuchy is now looking forward to playing against the side that brought him to the Premier League in 2013.

"Thanks to them, I discovered English football"

Mathieu Debuchy

"I had a great time at Newcastle and I can never thank the club and the fans enough for what they have done for me," Debuchy told the matchday programme.

"I only have great memories from there. Thanks to them, I discovered English football. I played in a great atmosphere in every home match. The fans are amazing and I will keep those moments all my life.

"It will be special to face them but it will be even more special later in the season when we play them up there."