One of Unai Emery’s first signings when he took over in the summer of 2018, Matteo Guendouzi played a major role in the Arsenal first-team in his debut campaign at the Emirates.
Despite arriving from French Ligue 2 side Lorient, the midfielder grew into an important figure for Emery, helping the Gunners to the Europa League final. He made a mammoth 48 appearances across all competitions last season, playing a whopping 3,040 minutes of football.
In the short spell that Mikel Arteta has been in charge for however, Guendouzi has slipped under the radar, starting just the once against Chelsea before the clash against Leeds United on Monday night. And with a chance to impress his new boss, the Frenchman duly delivered.
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As per Sofascore, the starlet won an incredible 15 duels out of his total of 23, made five tackles and had an impressive 87% pass accuracy – all three of those stats were the team’s highest of players who started the game.
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And after seeing his display, Arsenal fans flooded to Twitter to voice their thoughts on their midfielder, with a few urging people to give him time and show a bit of patience for his “talent” and “potential”.
As inconsistent as Guendouzi is playing right now, I’ll still back him cos the potential is there. He just needs his deficiencies coached out of him. Same with Nelson
— Kenshiro, Fifth Emperor of The South (@SolaceExcursion) 7 January 2020
I think guendozi is quality – he will only get better and with current attributes could be world class – he is the only midfielder who really shows for the ball – the others expect it to feet through tight gaps hence why holding kept getting caught with no/bad options
— Uncool Adam (@uncooladam) 7 January 2020
— Rajasimhan (@simhan87) 7 January 2020
A couple of fans hoped Arteta’s arrival would see Guendouzi really kick on in his development, with one supporter in particular suggesting the greater organisation could do wonders for his game.
That version of Guendouzi proves to me that this Xhaka Guendouzi pivot can work. But a lot depends on how well Matteo plays. I am happy that he has Arteta to teach him.
— ً (@chiefdouzi) 7 January 2020
Couldn’t agree more. Think Arteta can be huge for his development. Thing I’ve been most impressed by is the organization off the ball, and that’s the area Guendouzi stands to improve the most right now.
— what would arsene do (@oawgunner) 7 January 2020
Another couple of fans praised his heart and commitment to the cause, with one supporter lauding him for never wanting to hide.
The lad never hides and can usually dig his way out of playing badly to bossing it.
— TheBoyCornelius (@TheBoyCornelius) 6 January 2020
If you watch Guendouzi for structure, you will find faults. More evident when we are not winning
If you watch him for coverage, heart, effort and all the other intangibles, you will love him https://t.co/wRoZyg4fy2
— CanonCrested (@canoncrested) 6 January 2020
Still only 20-years-old, Guendouzi has plenty of room to grow, and it is easy to forget that this season represents only his second in English football’s top-flight. The Frenchman has had to adapt quickly to things at the Emirates, and amidst all the turmoil of Emery’s reign, he is arguably been one of the cornerstones of the side. But with Lucas Torreira and Granit Xhaka appearing to be the favouring midfield pivot for Arteta, he now has some work to do to make his way back into the first-team.