NEWCASTLE United star Mathieu Debuchy has vowed to improve next season after an eventful introduction to the Premier League.
The right-back dazzled for France at Euro 2012, but struggled to make the same impact on Tyneside after his move from Lille in January.
Debuchy has taken time to settle in England, but has told fans that they will see the best of him when he returns ‘stronger and better equipped’ after a difficult first few months in English football.
“I feel great here in terms of my life”, said Debuchy. “I’ve been made welcome by everyone at the club, particularly the supporters, even if the results have not been as we would have wanted.
“However, I want to be stronger and play better for Newcastle next season. I will be better equipped to do that when we return.”
Newcastle were first linked to Debuchy last summer but signed him in early January on a five-year contract for a fee believed to be in the region of £5m.
He was soon joined by Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Yoan Gouffran, Massadio Haidara and Moussa Sissoko to complete a 10-strong French contingency in the Newcastle first team squad.
His best friend, Yohan Cabaye, has helped him to settle into life on Tyneside off the pitch, but on it Debuchy admits there is room for improvement.
The 27-year-old has impressed at times, particularly with his appetite to attack down the right flank, but he has also shown flashes of ill-discipline, and was sent off for a clumsy tackle on Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho last month as Newcastle’s season appeared to be coming off the rails.
But with Danny Simpson on his way out of the club after failing to agree a new contract, manager Alan Pardew will be banking on the French international getting up to speed with life in the Premier League.
And for his part, Debuchy is determined to improve both his individual performances and those of his team after their relegation-haunted campaign.
He added: “I’ll go away this summer, rest up and prepare hard for next season because on a personal level I want to give more to my team.
“Hopefully the team as a whole will improve.”