Arsenal enjoyed something of a clearout at The Emirates in the summer transfer window, with Edu moving a number of the Gunners’ deadwood onto pastures new, including Hector Bellerin, Alexandre Lacazette, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Bernd Leno, Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi.
However, while the latter of this sextet never looked to be a favourite of Mikel Arteta’s – starting just eight games under the Spaniard in 2019/20, before being shipped out on loan to Hertha BSC in 2020/21 and Olympique de Marseille in 2021/22 – Edu’s decision to include a £9m purchase clause in his loan to France appears to have been a big mistake by the technical director.
Indeed, after joining Les Phoceens on a temporary basis in the summer of 2021, Guendouzi highly impressed over his 38 Ligue 1 appearances last season, scoring four goals, providing six assists and creating six big chances, as well as making an average of 0.9 key passes, 1.2 tackles and winning 4.3 duels – at a success rate of 52% – per game.
These returns saw the 23-year-old average a fantastic SofaScore match rating of 7.00, ranking him as Jorge Sampaoli’s sixth-best performer in the top flight of French football last season – playing a key role in Marseille’s extremely impressive second-place finish in the league last time out.
And, after the French club activated the midfielder’s purchase clause this summer, the £43m-rated talent has once again caught the eye over his ten Ligue 1 fixtures in the current campaign, having already scored one goal, registered two assists and created one big chance for his teammates – with these metrics seeing the 23-year-old average a SofaScore match rating of 6.95.
However, it has undoubtedly been the France international’s four appearances in the Champions League in which he has most impressed this term, bagging one goal, as well as taking an average of 1.5 shots, making 0.5 key passes and winning 2.0 duels – at a success rate of 62% – per game.
These returns have seen the £40k-per-week player who Jack Mendel once dubbed “unreal” average a simply sensational SofaScore match rating of 7.03, currently ranking him as Igor Tudor’s sixth-best player in Europe’s most prestigious club competition.
As such, considering his remarkable returns in France, the fact he now boasts a market valuation 338% higher than the figure Arsenal sold him for and Mohamed Elneny’s injury having left Arteta with only Thomas Partey as a senior option in defensive midfield, it is clear to see that selling Guendouzi for such a minimal fee this summer has proven something of a shocker for Edu.