Arsenal must find way to offload Jenkinson, Debuchy before deadline

Arsenal could be looking at another disappointing end to a transfer window -- although this time it's a lack of outgoing players, rather than incoming, which would constitute a failure.

The only major items on Arsenal's to-do list going into the January window were to find new destinations for right-backs Carl Jenkinson and Mathieu Debuchy, but those deals are yet to happen despite the club's willingness to welcome all suitors.

Now the Gunners are running out of time to offload two players whose Arsenal careers -- regardless of what happens before the January window shuts -- are clearly over. Even if they can't find new clubs by Tuesday evening, it's difficult to imagine either player finding his way back into Arsene Wenger's first-team plans.

In Jenkinson's case it is because the boyhood Gunners fan simply isn't an Arsenal-calibre player; Debuchy because his open hostility toward Wenger and stated desire to move elsewhere could make him toxic to the dressing room.

So, at this stage, it's in everyone's interest to get deals over the line. A failure to do so would only drag the situation out until the summer, costing Arsenal six months of wages for players they're not using and losing Jenkinson and Debuchy another six months of their careers playing in the reserves.

In some ways, it's surprising that these deals have yet to be sorted out. But in Jenkinson's case, Arsenal quickly came to an agreement with Crystal Palace only to see the player balk over the proposed personal terms.

For Debuchy, injuries have scuppered his chances of a move for a second straight transfer window, with clubs seemingly wary of signing a player who has yet to prove his fitness after a series of problems dating back to last spring.

There is a decent chance that solutions can be found in both cases. Jenkinson may well realise that his career is best served by going to Palace, even if he has to take a pay cut. The 24-year-old Englishman showed during his loan spell at West Ham that he can be a solid Premier League regular, and a reunion with Sam Allardyce seems like a perfect solution.

His love for Arsenal has been well documented, and it's easy to understand how disappointing a permanent move would be for a player who no doubt spent countless nights dreaming about playing for the Gunners before making it a reality, but professional football doesn't have much room for sentimentality.

Jenkinson's few appearances when filling in for the injured Hector Bellerin this season simply weren't good enough for the very top level. And when Wenger announced in December that the defender had lost his confidence and would be dropped in favour of centre-back Gabriel Paulista until Bellerin returned, the writing was on the wall.

It's fair to say that most fans would have loved to see Jenkinson succeed at Arsenal, but it just wasn't meant to be.

Debuchy, on the other hand, has his mouth to blame for his situation. A fully fit and motivated Debuchy is certainly good enough to play for Arsenal, and would be a perfect backup to Bellerin. But he publicly criticised Wenger's decision to block a move to Manchester United last January -- when he went on loan to Bordeaux instead -- and told L'Equipe that he wants "a way out" in January.

The Frenchman even went as far to say that his relationship with Wenger had deteriorated to the point that they hardly talk anymore. And while the Arsenal boss tried to downplay those statements, he probably didn't take them lightly.

In the case of an injury to Bellerin, Debuchy could still be a major asset for Arsenal if he was able to fully re-integrate into the team. But his outspoken nature has probably taken him beyond the point of no return.

Wenger insists Debuchy is now fully fit again, in which case there should be plenty of clubs willing to snap him up at a good price.

Arsenal would certainly be better off selling him on the cheap, rather than risking his continued presence becoming a distraction. The clock is ticking, but there's still time for the club to make this transfer window a relative success.