Matteo Guendouzi says he’s determined to enjoy his loan spell with Hertha Berlin and is looking forward to playing regular football again.
The 21-year-old midfielder joined the Bundesliga at the tail-end of the transfer window having been frozen out at Arsenal following a series of behavioural issues.
The Gunners spent much of the summer trying to offload the Frenchman on a permanent basis – he’s thought to have been offered to Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain to name but a few – but with clubs struggling for liquidity during the pandemic, we ultimately settled on a temporary arrangement with an unlikely suitor.
Facing the press on international duty with France under-21s, Guendouzi explained what he’s hoping to get out of the year.
I just really needed to play this year, a new challenge,” he said.
“That was the most important thing for me. I am still young, I am only 21, so playing time was the top priority for me.
“I know that by going to Hertha Berlin, I’ll be able to really express myself in a great league, so everything is perfect.
“They’re a very good German club, with great ambition, so I’ve gone on loan for a year over there.
“I’m going to give everything for this club. I needed game time, to enjoy myself on the pitch and that’s what I’m going to do this year.”
While Mikel Arteta hinted at the start of the season that the door was still open for Matteo Guendouzi, it seems hard to believe that he’ll be reintegrated into the Arsenal squad when he returns next summer. By that point, he’ll only have a year left on his contract.
It’s maybe a little early for regrets but it is a shame how things have worked out. At the start of last season, there were moments when he genuinely looked like he might have a long career at the Emirates.
We wish him well in Germany; here’s hoping he turns Bayern’s head and they feel compelled to offer us Gnabry in a swap deal.