No problems here! Hertha chief heaps praise on Matteo Guendouzi

Nicholas Hughes
No problems here! Hertha chief heaps praise on Matteo Guendouzi

Matteo Guendouzi rather unceremoniously left Arsenal for Hertha Berlin on loan in the summer after rumours of a rift with Gunners boss Mikel Arteta.

But Hertha’s sporting director Arne Friedrich has dispelled any thoughts of ill-intentions on the part of the player, telling the Guardian how impressive he has been.

“When you talk about Guendouzi and see his skills, you realise he is a great player,” he said.

“I’ve also read that he had problems at Arsenal but here he behaves very well. He puts all of himself on the field, he is a great professional.”

Perhaps with a slight dig at the Gunners, Friedrich said that it has been important to help nurture Guendouzi rather than discarding him too quickly after some initial struggles.

“Guendouzi’s situation confirms that we must always understand how to help the players. With a talent like him, it is worth it,” he said.

The Frenchman has made 21 appearances in the Bundesliga this season, registering two goals and an assist.

Matteo Guendouzi Bundesliga stats in 2020/21

StatisticGuendouzi
Appearances21
Goals2
Passes P9048.6
Recoveries P905.9
Dribbles P901.4
via FootballCritic

His form earned him a trip to the Under-21 European Championships where he featured in all three group stage matches and scored a goal as France made it out of Group C in the tournament.

The 21-year-old ranks in the top four Hertha players for total passes and passes into the final third per 90 minutes, as well as passing accuracy with 86%.

Arsenal’s midfield has recently come under fire for passive and error-ridden performances, with Granit Xhaka in particular culpable for a goal against Burnley recently.

The decision to allow him to go has been questioned, but the player himself last month insisted that he is as committed as ever and is looking forward to returning to London in the summer.

He will have greater competition with Thomas Partey’s arrival at the beginning of the campaign, but with a positive season on loan Guendouzi could well force himself back into Arteta’s plans.