Matteo Guendouzi rubs salt into Arsenal wounds as outcast handed France call-up

The central midfielder quickly fell out of favour at Arsenal under Mikel Arteta but has found his best form at Ligue 1 club Marseille and has now been called into the senior France ranks

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Lokonga sends message to Arsenal fans after tough start to season

Arsenal have endured a miserable start to their new campaign as they sit at the foot of the Premier League table with no points and no goals from their opening three matches.

Their woes have been compounded by the bright start Matteo Guendouzi has made at Marseille, whom he joined on a season-long loan deal from the Gunners this summer.

The French midfielder had been a regular in Arsenal ’s side under Unai Emery but swiftly fell out of favour at the club following the appointment of Mikel Arteta in December 2019.

He made 82 appearances for the North London side in all competitions and had looked set for a bright future at the club but is now in the second of two loan deals away from the Emirates.

Matteo Guendouzi has starred for Jorge Sampaoli’s Marseille side this campaign

The 22-year-old, who joined Arsenal from Lorient in 2018, spent last season out on loan at Hertha Berlin, making 24 appearances and scoring two goals before injury cut his campaign short.

He has subsequently joined Marseille on a season-long loan deal while the Ligue 1 club have an option to buy him permanently next summer.

Guendouzi has so far played in Marseille’s opening four league games of the season, scoring once and producing an assist – and impressing alongside William Saliba, also at the club on loan from Arsenal.

Guendouzi has captained France at Under-21 level but has now been called up to the senior squad to replace Corentin Tolisso, in what is an indicator of his strong form this campaign.

Didier Deschamps is preparing his squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Bosnia, Ukraine and Finland with Guendouzi now hopeful of winning his first senior cap.

French pundit Habib Beye – a former Marseille defender who played in England for Newcastle, Aston Villa and Doncaster – recently raved about his impact at the Ligue 1 club.

Were Arsenal wrong to allow Guendouzi to leave on loan? Comment below

Beye told Canal+ via Le 10 Sport : “(Pablo) Longoria has recruited players whose profile fits perfectly with (Jorge) Sampaoli’s philosophy. I am thinking in particular of Guendouzi.

“There has been a lot of talk about (Cengiz) Under against ASSE, but Guendouzi’s performance, in terms of effort and availability, is strong.

“He is also on the first level. I have the impression that he is the lower counterpart of what Dimitri Payet can be, in technical accuracy. OM did not have that in the past, and Guendouzi is good for this team.”

Upon confirming his loan signing this summer, a Marseille statement read: A Marseille statement confirming the move said: “Guendouzi is a modern midfielder, technically strong and with good passing quality.

“A player of character, he has a good vision of the game. These qualities he will undoubtedly be able to share with the Olympic Marseille team.”

That now appears to be the case with Guendouzi fitting in seamlessly to the side and being recognised at international level.

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