Matteo Guendouzi disaster is a big failure for Arteta and Arsenal

Suraj Radia
Suraj Radia 1 Jul 2022 20:55 BST 3 min read
Matteo Guendouzi playing for Arsenal in the Premier League

Matteo Guendouzi has joined Marseille on a permanent deal, ending a turbulent career with Arsenal and leaving fans wondering what could have been.

The 23-year-old was touted as one of Arsenal's brightest prospects after joining from Lorient for £7 million in 2018 but fell out with boss Mikel Arteta and spent the last two seasons out on loan.

At £10m, Arsenal have made minimal profit on Guendouzi despite him breaking into the French national team and establishing himself as one of the best midfielders in Ligue 1 last season.

With the Gunners still lacking quality in the heart of midfield, the failure to make the most of an obvious talent, despite concerns over his attitude, reflects badly on Arteta and Arsenal.

Trust the process?

Guendouzi was regarded as the future of Arsenal's midfield when Unai Emery brought him to the Emirates four years ago.

But the Frenchman fell out with Arteta soon after he replaced Emery, partially due to an altercation with Brighton's Neal Maupay where he grabbed the striker by the neck following a 2-1 loss.

The midfielder allegedly had a history of ill-discipline and Arteta excluded him from future matchday squads before eventually loaning him out to Hertha Berlin.

Guendouzi was just 21 at the time and Arteta had only been in charge for a matter of months before deciding to exile him, much to the shock of the Gunners squad.

While Arteta was well within his rights to get rid of a player he believed to be a bad influence, the speed and severity of his decision reportedly raised eyebrows in the dressing room and with fans.

Arteta has operated with an iron fist at Arsenal, falling out with many players including former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but his strong discipline hasn't carried over onto the pitch.

Arsenal have received more than 15 red cards since Arteta took over in 2019, significantly more than any other club in the league during that time.

Arteta's poor balance of discipline in the dressing room could see more young talents fail to fulfil their potential at the club, such as William Saliba, who has failed to make an appearance since joining Arsenal for £27m in 2019.

Saliba was believed to be disappointed at his treatment by Arteta and, although he should return to the club from loan and be integrated in the first team this summer, the situation highlights the flaws in Arteta's management style.

Arsenal have lost a quality midfielder for a significantly smaller fee than expected and Arteta may have to take his ego out of the equation in order to avoid history repeating itself.

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