It has been a season rather loaded with controversies for Matteo Guendouzi. He was called out for a bout of poor behaviour at Arsenal’s training camp in Dubai in the winter, with head coach Mikel Arteta reportedly not impressed, and he put on a show of anger at the end of the Gunners’ defeat away to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.
Five minutes before the break, the Seagulls forward Neal Maupay rather thuggishly bumped into Bernd Leno as the Arsenal goalkeeper caught the ball near the edge of the box. He was probably trying to make the German either drop the ball or step over the line, but the result of the contact was that Leno lost his footing and landed awkwardly, getting injured in the process and having to make way for Emiliano Martinez.
Arsenal players were, naturally, unimpressed with Maupay’s antics and it seems that Guendouzi, more than anyone else, made his feeling towards him known throughout the rest of the game. In the end, Maupay took his revenge as he scored a last-gasp winner for his team. After the final whistle, Guendouzi approached Maupay from behind and grabbed him by the throat, which caused some enmity between the two sets of players to burst out.
According to French outlet Le10Sport, Arteta has finally lost his patience with the midfielder and may be open to letting him go for a suitable fee this summer. Real Madrid, led by Guendouzi’s compatriot Zinedine Zidane, as well as Barcelona and Leicester City, are apparently keeping a close eye on any further developments on the matter.
It may be a bit of pointless noise coming from Guendouzi’s homeland, but whatever is the case, it seems the 21-year-old really needs to buckle down and not allow himself to be drawn into this kind of situation. In all honesty, he was very lucky not to see a red card raised against him, and that would’ve been be something Arsenal certainly wouldn’t have needed with Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira injured.