Matteo Guendouzi sends firm reminder to Arteta after Arsenal’s transfer failures
Arsenal’s squad has been heavily depleted for the second half of the campaign with six exits from the first-team squad and loanee Matteo Guendouzi sent a message to Mikel Arteta in Marseille’s Ligue 1 clash against Lyon
Matteo Guendouzi sent a message to Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta with his role in Marseille’s rearranged Ligue 1 clash against Lyon on Tuesday.
The central midfielder is enjoying a starring role for a resurgent Marseille this campaign and the Gunners loanee has been central in their top three position in the league.
The 22-year-old was ostracised by Arteta back in 2020 and is currently in his second loan spell away from the club – following a stint at Hertha Berlin – and looks set to join the French club permanently this summer.
The Frenchman had 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.
Guendouzi opened the scoring in Tuesday night’s crunch league meeting against rivals Lyon in a fixture which was rearranged from earlier in the campaign due to crowd trouble, meaning this match was played behind closed doors.
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A total of six players left Arteta’s first-team squad this month with no new additions – although Auston Trusty was signed from MLS side Colorado Rapids – with Guendouzi among those previously trimmed.
Guendouzi opened the scoring on Tuesday as he lost his marker in the Lyon penalty area to power home a header from Dimitri Payet’s corner in the 10 th minute.
Jorge Sampaoli’s side, who are flying high in third position in Ligue 1, were heavily fancied to win the game as Lyon had 11 players unavailable for the game.
Yet the depleted hosts fought back in the second half with former Liverpool playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri levelling with 15 minutes remaining before Lyon striker Moussa Dembele netted a late winner.
The result means that Marseille have not won a league fixture away at Lyon in 15 years and missed the chance to leapfrog Nice into second.
Guendouzi’s leadership skills have been praised by Marseille boss Sampaoli, for whom the midfielder – alongside another Gunners loanee, defender William Saliba – have starred this campaign.
Sampaoli told a press conference last month: “Aside from his youth, Matteo has a particular energy. He has a desire to win and he’s a natural leader.
“We imagined that would be the case but that it would happen over time. Seeing this in addition to his performances, we have an energy that everyone can envy.
“It is contagious and it’s a very important value in life. Experience is important for everyone but, for young people, sometimes difficult events are not good experiences.
“There is also personal capacity on the mental side.
“Guendouzi, for example, he is a 22-year-old but he acts like he is 30. The most important thing is maturity.”
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 subsequently joined Marseille on a season-long loan deal while the Ligue 1 club have an option to buy him permanently this summer.
It remains unlikely that Guendouzi will return to Arsenal due to his apparent fallout with Arteta, who subsequently secured the signings of Thomas Partey and Albert Sambi Lokonga last summer.
Guendouzi made his France international debut earlier this season as he appeared for Les Bleus in a World Cup qualifier against Finland in November.