Pires not surprised by impact of ‘warrior’ Guendouzi

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Robert Pires says he’s not surprised that Matteo Guendouzi has made a stellar start to life at Arsenal having watched the 19-year-old come through the ranks at Lorient.

While the midfielder attracted attention from some of Europe’s biggest clubs during two seasons of first-team football in France, few in England expected the youngster to be anything more than a squad player at the Emirates following his €8 million summer move.

Contrary to expectations, Guendouzi was quick to earn the trust of Unai Emery and, following an impressive pre-season, he even started the Premier League campaign ahead of big-money acquisition Lucas Torreira in the Gunners midfield pecking order. A gobby, energetic, creative and hairy presence, he’s been difficult to ignore.

“Matteo, I know him a little bit because he used to play for Lorient in France,” Pires told the i newspaper.

“Of course, for Arsenal fans, for journalists and for some people he has been a great surprise, because nobody knew him when he signed for Arsenal. But he’s a great player, he’s very talented and he’s very confident.

“For me, no, it was not a surprise for me,” he reiterated. “I repeat, because I know him. He plays simple, he runs a lot, he’s like a warrior. I think he’s like Lucas Torreira.

“For Arsenal it’s very important to have a player like Matteo Guendouzi. He’s a good player and I think he can make a success with Arsenal. I hope so.”

So far, Guendouzi has made 20 appearances this season, second only to Torreira, who has made 21. Who’d have put money on that in the summer?

Well, probably Bobby, the wily old fox.

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Pedant
Pedant

Lorient has been a good club for us getting players from.

Given how good Matteo is at 19 I think he has a huge future for us.

Shmokin'em
Shmokin'em

Well we have only ever had him and kos from lorient. Kos obviously was/is amazing but we are yet to see how guenny does. So two players 1 great and 1 in progress. How did u come to this conclusion? Correct me if im wrong about only 2…

Shmokin'em
Shmokin'em

I mean about lorient being a good club to get players from. Matty does indeed have a huge future i agree.

Ya gooner
Ya gooner

*a huge future for Barcelona (I kid)

iGooner
iGooner

If AMN can develop into a great CM player then our midfield could be set for quite a long time. Oh, and also ESR of course

Granit(e) Hard!
Granit(e) Hard!

Absolutely, exciting times indeed for the Arsenal… and dont lets forget Neilson, coming in to the wings, in not too long, i hope. I watched the kid yesterday and you can see he has added cleverly running constantly at, and behind oppositon defences to his game, and with his pace and trickery on the ball, one can see why he i has now become such a goal threat…he was terrorising mancity defence all night, constantly running behind them…though he didnt score yest, he managed to get himself one v one with the keeper, twice that i counted, and also missed at least one sitter…this to mancity defence, which is one of the tightest in the league.. amazing

Wengerballz
Wengerballz

Best signing since Holding

Pedant
Pedant

Better than Torreira and Auba?

Dan nichols
Dan nichols

He could be more warrior like if he had frightening tattoos all over his face. and wore a tartan hat. his hair is good though.

Mark
Mark

Certainly has played well above his age and while he still makes mistakes anyone in that position being around the ball so much will (i.e. Xhaka). The great thing about Guendouzi is he does not shy away from the pressure of big moments and big games (like someone else on the squad does) and is not afraid to make a mistake. He has lots of growth ahead of him in is game and more importantly in his body as he gains more strength and sturdiness.

santori
santori

Likely will get a start today maybe alongside Elneny.

Think if Koscielny starts, he won’t play the full 90 on reason of justifiable caution. They will drop Elneny potentially to Cback and Willock may come in with Guendouzi.

Monreal may also feature at CBack but probably get replaced by Medley or vice-versa.

David C
David C

I’d say he’s slower on his ball distribution than Torreira, but given their age both of them will improve in all areas. Happy days for Arsenal’s midfield!

Torreira’s shooting is really great as well.

Mekus
Mekus

Yes that has been my only major concern in his style of play. He’s slow in releasing the ball and needs to be more aware of lurking dangers around him while in possession of the ball. If he can also improve on his defensive roles as well as work on his stamina, gosh! Dare I say that he will be comparable to the best (if not the best) in his position. My greatest joy and hope is that compared to his age, those minor issues can be dealt with by a very good coach and we have them in Emery and his assistants. The future really looks very bright both for him and Arsenal.

GoForIt
GoForIt

He may seem a bit slower in distributing the ball than Torreira, but I think Guendouzi is often taking an extra split second to see if the killer LONG-DISTANCE upfield pass is on — not unlike when he hit that superb cross-field ball to Auba to set up the goal last weekend.

If you look at the kid’s pre-Arsenal highlights, the thing that really stands out is his ability to — over and over again — hit perfect 40-yard, line-splitting passes right into the forward movement of his wingers and strikers. If he can replicate this extraordinary vision/skill at Arsenal (and he’s already showing glimpses of it), he’s going to be a joy for our forward players and a terror to our opponents.

Francesc
Francesc

I love guendouzi.. he has the talent, mental strength and seems free spirited at the same time. Rare to find all three together.

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

Gwen and Torre were both fantastic pieces of business. Wenger would never have bought either of them because “we ave better soolooshons ere”; or “Ziz price is too aye”. Well done the new management.

All the indications are that we’ll bring in a defender in the transfer window. Good.

Spud’s lucky CL qualification is excellent news for us. The extra-tough midweek games will take a lot out of their weak squad. We can probably rest players for the next soft round. They are not good enough to win it so we don’t have to worry. And they won’t be in the EL so they can’t qualify for the CL by that route this season. Good.

We just need to knock them out of the Caribou cup now.

Chakravo
Chakravo

You know, I would really like to hear your French, Fats.

Nasri’s missing chinbone
Nasri’s missing chinbone

Is the Caribou cup a new competition or was that a cleverly disguised reindeer pun given the proximity to the 25th?

If so, I salute you sir.

FYI disagree with your Wenger comments. Guendouzi is exactly the sort of player Arsene would have signed.

I AM ARSENAL
I AM ARSENAL

Ultimate metronome player, reminds me of Busquets a little and has deceptively good forward passing.

Ronny
Ronny

He, from the little that he has shown, has the potential to be of the best CDMs, not unlike Busquets. Has to keep his head down,work smart and a great coach as mentor.

WallyT
WallyT

Torreira, a big money acquisition? Still struggling to comprehend.

Benriz
Benriz

Comparably. Context, my friend.