Matteo Guendouzi has spoken out on his rocky relationship with Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and bemoaned his lack of playing time under the Spanish manager during his time at the Emirates Stadium.
The 21-year old was loaned out to German side Hertha BSC before the transfer window closed in October having failed to appear for Arsenal since his petulant clash with Brighton striker Neal Maupay in June.
Arteta clearly didn’t like what he saw from the Frenchman and was happy to sanction a move after not playing him for the remainder of last season.
“In the space of two seasons I have played more than 80 games with Arsenal. When you play less, you start to think and it hurts,” he said.
“I needed to have fun on the pitch, to regain confidence and that’s what Hertha offers me. It really is a choice I made.”
Guendouzi also spoke candidly about the situation just last month, saying: “I just really needed to play this year, a new challenge. That was the most important thing for me. I am still young. I am only 21, so playing time was the top priority for me.
“I needed to enjoy myself on the pitch and that is what I am going to do this year.”
Despite his optimism, the loanee’s road back into the Arsenal starting XI could prove more difficult with the arrival of the impressive Thomas Partey. His performances at Hertha need to be of a good enough standard to give Arteta a selection headache and he will need to convince him of an attitude change too.
A lot hinges on Arsenal’s future investments and the loan of Dani Ceballos coming to an end, Guendouzi rightly points out that he is only young and has his best years ahead of him.
We will see whether he grasps his loan opportunity with both hands.