The situation surrounding Matteo Guendouzi seems to have died away from the public eye in recent months, and that’s probably a good thing with Arsenal needing to focus on regaining momentum when the Premier League returns from the international break.
As you probably remember, the 21-year-old had several disciplinary issues since Mikel Arteta took charge of the team, and the problems culminated in the aftermath of the defeat away to Brighton and Hove Albion late last season, when he was involved in a conflict with Neal Maupay and taunted the Seagulls forward about making more money than him. He was later obliged to hold a meeting with Arteta and technical director Edu, but the conversation brought no progress and he was eventually told not to bother showing up for the following training session. He is now on a season-long loan with Hertha Berlin, where his talents on the pitch are earning praise once more, but his Arsenal contract is set to run for a year more after he returns; or indeed, IF he returns.
Mikael Landreau managed Lorient, from where Arsenal signed Guendouzi, between 2017 and 2019. Speaking to French television Canal +, he said the young midfielder ‘annoyed him terribly’.
Landreau made it perfectly clear that managing a player like Guendouzi is no picnic, and due to the player’s immense ego and strong spirit, his behaviour is sometimes very tough for the group. He described him as a confident player that never stops, a player that needs to be in the spotlight, to be the leader, and he believes that giving Guendouzi the captain’s armband would be likely to help get the best from him.
A player like Guendouzi getting the captain’s armband at a club like Arsenal is, of course, a highly unlikely scenario. In fact, it’s very likely that he’ll never wear the club shirt again, but Landreau’s words certainly make Arteta’s decision to freeze him out completely even more understandable that it already was. Being so young, there is still a chance that Guendouzi might discover a way to control his temper and show respect to those around him, but as for his Arsenal career, it’s too late.