Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi has won his first senior call-up for France after Paul Pogba withdrew from the squad to face Albania and Andorra due to a sprained ankle.
Pogba has completed 90 minutes in each of Manchester United’s Premier League games so far this season, including Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Southampton.
Guendouzi has been similarly central to head coach Unai Emery’s plans at Arsenal and impressed during Sunday’s north London derby – supplying a superb floated pass for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to seal a 2-2 draw for the Gunners.
Overall, his numbers during the opening weeks of the campaign have been highly impressive, with the former Lorient man’s nine interceptions, five tackles won and 43 kilometres covered the most for any Arsenal player, according to data collected by Opta.
Guendouzi’s 19 recoveries and 46 duels put him second in those categories.
1 – Matteo Guendouzi among @Arsenal players in the Premier League 2019/20:
9 interceptions – 1st
5 tackles won – 1st
43 kms covered – 1st
19 recoveries – 2nd
46 duels – 2nd
France . pic.twitter.com/dQhG0IhkCU
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) September 2, 2019
The 20-year-old featured three times for France’s Under-21 team at this year’s European Championship in Italy.
Didier Deschamps’ need for midfield reinforcements was underlined by Lyon’s Houssem Aouar withdrawing due to an adductor problem, with another replacement to be announced in due course.
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