One of Matteo Guendouzi’s former managers says the Frenchman is a difficult player to manage, and that despite his talent he can be a ‘pain on a daily basis’.
The 21 year is currently on loan at Hertha Berlin having fallen foul of Mikel Arteta’s strict disciplinary standards more than once, ultimately ending last season out of the matchday squad and missing out on an FA Cup winners medal.
Mikael Landreau was Lorient boss between 2017 and 2019, and worked with the midfielder as he made his breakthrough.
He spoke with Canal+ (via Sport Witness) and pulled no punches about behaviour he found hard to deal with.
“He annoyed me terribly, he is very complicated to manage,” he said.
“He sometimes has some behaviours within a group that are very, very hard, but somehow, that’s what he is: big.
“He doesn’t let go, he is a fighter. He has an oversized ego, but he certainly needs it.”
He also suggested giving Guendouzi more responsibility might be just what he needs, but sounded a warning about earning that trust with his managers will be key.
“I think he needs to be in the spotlight, to be a leader,” he said. “He needs to be a captain or vice-captain, and he will try to make the most of it.
“Because that’s the way he is. And that means that his teammates have to accept him the way he is, because he’s a pain on a daily basis.
“He’s very boring on a daily basis, but on the other hand, he’s talented.”
Sadly that talent wasn’t enough for Arsenal to put up with the ‘pain’, and despite efforts to sell him during the last transfer window, there were no offers significant enough to consider – suggesting other clubs are cautious of his character too.
So far Guendouzi has appeared twice for Hertha Berlin, having missed a couple of weeks following a positive test for Coronavirus.