Arsenal’s summer signing, the 19-year-old Mattéo Guendouzi, has shown some real ability in his time at the Emirates. This is highly impressive, seeing as last season he was playing at Ligue 2 side Lorient and is walking into a side not quite sure of themselves right now.
The bright lights of the Premier League would surely have been a long way from the mind of the midfielder when he lined up for the French second tier side at the beginning of last season.
He graduated to the first team of the Bretagne side in the 2016/17 season, aged just seventeen. It was a tough introduction to the first-team set-up for Guendouzi, as Les Merlus were relegated out of the French top flight. He impressed in Ligue 2 with Lorient to such an extent, that he earnt himself a move to Arsenal, for a fee in the region of £8m.
It has been something of a baptism of fire for the French youth international. He has had to face the might of Pep’s Manchester City, before playing in a London derby at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea.
In these matches, the £8m star had mixed fortunes as Arsenal fell to two defeats. Showing moments of real quality, but also being prone to a mistake. Against Manchester City, he made a mistake which almost led to a goal, but also showed he is a comfortable dribbler and comfortable on the ball. He looked one of the most solid players in the Arsenal midfield, a remarkable achievement for a 19-year-old.
Arsenal fans may be satisfied they may be seeing the next great player to come out of the Banlieue, with Guendouzi being Poissy-born. He is also in the French national set-up, which is a production line for stars in recent years. Regular first-team football will only serve to improve the player, who already looks like he has the sort of courage to thrive in central midfield. Indeed, he looks like he has great energy in the middle of the park, and once he has added more game intelligence, he could be a player Emery relies on in seasons to come.