Arsenal have endured a tough season in Unai Emery’s inaugural Premier League campaign. They currently lie fourth, a single point behind rivals Tottenham. The top four battle will go down to the wire and Arsenal will need their important players to be on top form to prevail.
Where the season has indeed been tough, there have been prominent improvements under the guidance of the Spaniard. Arsenal were previously known as the team that never splashed the cash, but signings of Mesut Ozil and more recently Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette have broken the mould. However, it is one of the cheaper players that has impressed most in his debut campaign – Matteo Guendouzi.
The 20-year-old midfielder was signed from FC Lorient in the summer in a deal reportedly worth £7.2m (per Transfermarkt) a bargain in today’s market. Many may have believed the French u21 International would have taken a more peripheral position this season, but rather he has been instrumental in much of Arsenal’s success this season.
Yes, of course, the youngster has a lot to learn. The midfielder has been suspect of giving the ball away cheaply on occasion, as well as a prevalent argument that he is often too lightweight in midfield. But the Premier League is one of the toughest leagues to adapt to for someone of any age. Guendouzi was last season playing his football in the second tier of French football – let that sink in for a second.
Transfermarkt now value the young midfielder at £27m, but the Gunners would be foolish in letting a player with such potential leave the club for such an amount. Although Guendouzi has received fairly widespread criticism towards the conclusion of the current campaign, the sky is the limit for the Frenchman.
With Aaron Ramsey set to join Juventus in the summer, while Granit Xhaka and especially Mohamed Elneny arguably operate at a level below Champions League quality, Guendouzi will be an important player for the future. What his transfer valuation is in three years time remains to be seen, however one would not be surprised to see it elevate.
Arsenal fans – is Guendouzi your biggest bargain in recent years? How good could he come? Join the discussion below.