Emery: France snub earned Guendouzi first team chance

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Unai Emery says Matteo Guendouzi’s decision to turn down an international call soon after he signed for Arsenal played a big role in his immediate integration into the first team squad.

The 19-year-old was called up by France under-21s to take part in the Toulon Tournament, due to start five days after he arrived at London Colney, but he instead knuckled down to pre-season training in an attempt to make a good first impression in his new surroundings.

The midfielder hasn’t looked back. Having arrived as an unknown quantity from Lorient he’s gone on to make 31 appearances this season, firmly establishing himself as an important member of the first team.

Reflecting on Guendouzi’s start to life in England, Emery told the Evening Standard: “The first impression from him is very good. We saw this from the first weeks of pre-season when he arrived here and started training.

“For example, his very big decision to decide not to play with the national team in the summer because he wanted to stay and work with us to show his capacity in pre-season. He earned the possibility to take minutes in the first XI.

“His adaptation was very quick. Now his progress is very good. He is very young. We played with Lucas Torreira and Guendouzi as midfielders at Manchester City. He is a very young player, his present is very good but his ambition is to grow a lot with us and become an important Premier League player.

The boss added: “He needs to work every day with ambition, as he is doing now. Every training, every match, he shows his ambition and motivation to be an important player. It is the same for all players.

“It is a very short career and it need to use all the motivation for the best career, take a title and earn money for his family and future. He is showing us that.”

It really has been a remarkable first seven months in England for Guendouzi, who doesn’t turn 20 until April. You could argue that we’ve not seen a teenage midfielder look so immediately comfortable in the middle of the pitch since Wilshere and Fabregas burst onto the scene.

On his last day at the club, a tip of the hat to Herr Mislintat for finding such a gem.

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C.B.
C.B.

Looking forward to seeing him progress. Starting from a great base.

Rayk 47

Would you consider signing for Arsenal sir?

IamaGoober

Yeah, this guy genuinely has everything. He’s big, he’s got great feet, he’s calm on the ball in tight spaces, he’s good at carrying the ball, and he also has a great long range pass. He also plays with bags of personality which is what I love about him the most. Because all of the best midfielders to play the game always have that, almost arrogance to the side of their game.

But lets all not forget his most important attributes;

1 – He has zero ‘Barca DNA,’ So there wont be any (completely not) hilarious situations where a pony bald Spanish goal keeper forceably (but not really) slides a Barcelona shirt over his head at a press conference, whilst he just stands there grinning like a total helmet.

2 – He is also French. So the English press will completely ignore him. Meaning they wont build him up to be the poster boy of ‘footballs coming home,’ every time an international tournament comes around. Then inevitably rip him down and go out of their way to destroy him once they find out, that yes, football is well and truly …not coming home.

Hopefully if he – to coin a phrase – ‘keeps his nut down.’ Lays off the ‘hippie crack’ he will have every opportunity to become a huge player for us if he continues to keep performing like he has done this season.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

I like him just as much as the next guy, and I’m on board the praise train but you really can’t dismiss his defensive weaknesses and just make him a super talent. He is very talented with certain attributes but overall we need him to improve. And currently we are paying for his defensive frailty just as much because as a group we’re not defending very well, so the individual deficiencies of the whole squad are apparent.

Ya gooner
Ya gooner

With regards to the defensive issues I think he mitigates his mistakes by running with energy. If he improved on his positioning he would need to run less and therefore have more energy to boss the game

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

A lot of players join the club and tap the badge and say they always wanted to play for Arsenal; Guendouzi seems like a player who actually means it. I love his passion and desire to do well for the shirt, the team and the fans. Here’s to a bright future for him.

Rayk 47

Great vision and even pash-un… very promising! 😬

Anshul
Anshul

He wiĺl be a rockstar for us!!

Twatsloch
Twatsloch

Guendouzi is a gem. I’m glad he’s with us.

myrtle
myrtle

Found by diamond-eye himself no less.

Possession
Possession

He reminds me so much of Ray Parlour , not so much of Wilshere and Fabregas with their incredible ability. The Romford Pele won a few trophies with us though and hopefully so will Matteo.

Ric
Ric

The Lorient Laudrup? Ah fuck it I’m pissed

Ric
Ric

That’s not awful though

Gandalf
Gandalf

Reminds me of Manu petit with his skill set. Tough, but good on the ball too, able to cover big distances with his engine. Fingers crossed he doesn’t get hit by the injury curse.

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

Mislintat’s unerring eye for talent is i think unrivalled in the world football scouting industry at this moment in time..he is simply the best, judging from his finds in recent years and i think Arsenal’s management are simply crazy to let him go, according to the rumours, by not giving him what was promised, especially if you are not going to spend big like the oil pumping clubs and still remain competitive. It really is myopic, given our business model and i hope we dont come to regret it.

Twatsloch
Twatsloch

Totally agree. Him going is the worst thing that has hit us this season. Players come and they go, they get injured and they retire. To lose a guy with such an eye for overseeing the ebb and flow of that is really bad news.

I hope the club has something good to replace him with.

Sammy Dubzz
Sammy Dubzz

And the Rumors of disagreement btw him the coach bcos of transfer targets is bad he want arsenal to sign Nikolas Pepe but Emery don’t like him but prefers Suarez instead of a proper winger

Ric
Ric

You are right but we gotta move on init #MonchiIn (hopefully)

catbiscuits
catbiscuits

“On his last day at the club, a tip of the hat to Herr Mislintat for finding such a gem.”

Brace yourselves; Santori incoming

BangkokGooner
BangkokGooner

Show the lad some PV4 videos and we’ll have an absolute monster on our hands AND he’s got the best hair in the league.

Comedian
Comedian

Love matte, a real gem. Just has to learn the art of holding on to his position and track back something torreira is immense at. Sven was right in his observation he is at times everywhere on the pitch but also love his deliberate fouls at times which you expect more experienced players like mustafi and xhaka would have done in games that needed an opposition player to be brought down (not in the penalty box)

SB Still
SB Still

He doesn’t play like a 19 yr old, so comfortable so quickly in big team (although in patchy run right now), in a foreign league.

Very well done. The ManC game convinced a few more supporters of the potential.

It’s a shame that Mislintat has been allowed to go already.

Billy
Billy

Thank you Sven. Absolutely love this guy! I hope he gets the patience that a teenager deserves from the wider fanbase, could be a legend of the game

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

Thank you Sven for Matteo and Lucas, and I really hope you’re off to Bayern Munich not another PL club. That would be a tragedy not less than how we used to sell our top players to rivals.

Ram
Ram

Future Arsenal captain, he loves this club and he is very passionate. Has lot of potential to be a great midfielder.

Jack but
Jack but

Gwen, our own Bob Marley…

Santori
Santori

One of the best buys of the hit and Mslintat era.

But prob one with some weight from Emery as well.

Great player full of energy invention and positivity.

But to put things in perspective if you haven’t already realised some people have warp imagination on the demerits of certain players…

He has also made mistakes.

As much as its popular to blame Mustafi for everything this season, Mustafi was not featured or barely prominent against BHA, Soton, West Ham, Liverpool.

We shipped a massive 11 points in those games

Had we not, we would be sitting on at least 55 points now.

Part of the problem ( and it has been for a while) was midfield not getting the balance right and tracking runners either on the counter or into our box.

All miss have been culpable not just Granit.

It is important not to potray some players as imaginary vulnerable always whilst others are onot recognising for their positives.

Guendouzi has also made mistakes positionally albeit he can be somewhat forgiven for youth.

But it still cost us as Wenger erudite ly mentions

And so has Torreira. Against Soton, BHA and Liverpool, the diminutive mid was far from good and conspired to give away or be robbed of possession 5 times of which 3 led directly to goals against us.

Mustafi cost us the season? Think again. And think hard.

btw
btw

No Mustafi did not ruin our season, because he was 3rd or 4th choice behind Holding, Socratis, and Koscielny. Injuries mean that he might yet still contribute. Hard to ruin the season when you are hardly playing. I also don’t think our CBs are the problem. Take the City game, we did not get near their CBs because their midfield stopped us. That’s down to coaching, seems that Unai and Wenger both struggle in that regard, worryingly our defense seems worse under Unai.

Ben Constable
Ben Constable

Mustafi was barely prominent against Liverpool? Pretty sure he started that game and we shipped 4 goals before HT. Mustafi is a liability, no two ways about it.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

He played 45 mins and got taken off at half time.

Ben Constable
Ben Constable

Yes, and we were 4-0 down at HT.

Handbrakes
Handbrakes

Been really impressed with his attitude in recent weeks. Other teams clearly target him to see if they can wind him up and get him sent off but so far he’s just brushed it off, shows big maturity.