Compared to the lengthy well wishes William Saliba was handed prior to his loan move this week, Matteo Guendouzi’s goodbye was merely a pat on the back.
While Saliba was told he would be watched regularly, his compatriot was given nothing more than a standard press release.
That loss at the Amex was the 19-year-old’s last game for the Gunners under Arteta.
Reports of him bragging about his wages, fed into the narrative of an ego that far outweighed his abilities on the field.
Before he joined Hertha Berlin on loan at the end of the summer window, Gunners legend Martin Keown urged the Frenchman to follow the example set by the likes of Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli.
He said: “I think someone like Brian Clough would have called Guendouzi a ‘big head’ in the dressing room.
“Look at how humble was Saka when he signed his new contract, and Martinelli was exactly the same – they are the sort of players you want.”
And while Arteta’s youngsters are flourishing in the Premier League, Guendouzi is doing the same in Bundesliga with Hertha.
After suffering with Covid-19 following his move to Germany, the midfielder has become a regular, starting the last eight games.
In his most recent outing, a 3-0 win over Schalke, Guendouzi capped an accomplished display with a stunning strike, his second of the season.
Used as one of two midfieders in front of the defensive minded Lucas Tousart, he is beginning to show the kind of ability that had Arsenal fans so excited.
Hertha boss Bruno Labbadia recently spoke of not only Guendouzi’s influence on the pitch, but his rapid maturity off it.
“We’re glad we managed to recruit him,” Labbadia said last year.
“He is a very, very good player, who has a sense of space and is very technically skilled.
“Although he’s young, he gives instructions. He doesn’t care at all that he doesn’t speak the language.”
Recent reports have suggested that Arteta has been informed he could recall the France U21 international this month, as he looks to continue his side’s rise up the Premier League table.
“I needed to have fun on the pitch, to regain confidence and that’s what Hertha offers me. It really is a choice I made,” Guendouzi told Telefoot after his move.
If Arsenal could get the happy, positive and mature Guendouzi that is thriving in Berlin, Arteta could still have a player on his hands.
It remains to be seen whether the club’s next update will be more positive than the 78-word one offered in October.
Does Matteo Guendouzi still have a future at Arsenal? Have your say here.
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