He came in inconspicuously this summer from Lorient but French youth international Matteo Guendouzi certainly did end up making a splash in great part thanks to the impressive start to his Arsenal career.
The 19-year-old midfielder was one of the surprise arrivals at the Emirates during the summer transfer window.
The curly-haired Frenchman made the switch to North London from Ligue 2 outfit in a £7 million deal and went on to turn plenty of heads with his instant impact in the first team. Guendouzi was initially viewed as a signing for the future but Unai Emery will have been delighted with the way youngster adapted to his new surroundings.
A deep-lying midfielder was quick to become an integral part of the Arsenal team in the early stages of the 2018/19 season. He took part in all four Premier League matches and completed 306 minutes of first-team action.
Having become only the fourth teenager to start each of Arsenal’s first four Premier league matches after Nicolas Anelka, Cesc Fabregas and Johan Djourou, according to the club website, Matteo Guendouzi has received recognition for his impact by being voted the Gunners’ Player of the Month for August.
🏆Player of the Month of August 🏆YOU ARE MY MOTIVATION 😍
I’m working with passion for you guys ❤️
Thank you for your support 🔴⚪️
I will give you the best of myself 🔥#TheBeginning #Love #ToAllMyGunners #Magnifique @Arsenal pic.twitter.com/TAyYkxwSEk
— Matteo Guendouzi (@MatteoGuendouzi) September 6, 2018
Off to a Flying Start
Guendouzi topped the chart with 68% of the vote, finishing first ahead Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Peter Cech.
The player claims to be living a dream at the Emirates and has expressed thanks to everyone at the club for helping him settle in.
“Arsenal is the club of my heart, the one I have supported since I was little. I grew up watching, with my father, the videos of Vieira, Henry and the others, French players who made history. When I knew the club was interested to bring me, I did not hesitate. My integration was perfect thanks to the coach, the staff, the management, my teammates, the supporters.”, he said.
Guendouzi continues the long line of French internationals who would go on to achieve great things at Arsenal – such as the World Cup 1998 winners Patrick Vieira, Emmanuel Petit, Robert Pires and Thierry Henry – and is certainly hopeful he will be given a chance to shine a light of his own wearing a Gunners shirt.
Surprisingly fit and mentally prepared for the Premier League challenges, Matteo Guendouzi has been a consistent presence at the centre of the part for Arsenal thus far. This high-energy midfielder is showing no fear going against much older and more experienced Premier league players.
Guendouzi was one of the brightest spots in Arsenal’s defeats against Manchester City and Chelsea, topping the chart for ball-winning plays, displaying great desire and impressive fighting spirit. Games against Citizens and Blues saw him display a remarkable defensive play but Guendouzi was never afraid to burst forward – attempting to create chances for his teammates and even fire towards the goal.
Consistency the Key
He did however drop the level of performance in recent weeks as he seems to be struggling to identify what his best role in the team would be.
As a deep-lying midfielder, Matteo Guendouzi would be expected to act as a link between the Arsenal backline and attack-oriented, play-making teammates. The lad is, however, attempting to do more than what he is asked to and his attitude was the trait the supporters were most impressed by.
Arsenal themselves are in a transitional stage much like Guendouzi himself. Having gone through quite a journey from Ligue 2 to arguably the biggest and brightest football stage in the world, Guendouzi is giving his best to find his place in a newly-shaped team looking to get back in the top-four this season. Gunners are given 9/4 betting odds to grab a Champions League place at the end of the 2018/19 campaign.
Guendouzi should not be blamed for performing a trial and error test in order to identify what kind of a cog he needs to become in Arsenal’s machine to help Gunners get back where they need to be.
With all that he’s displaying early on this term, Arsenal fans have every right to be excited about the young Frenchman.
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