After the controversial procedure in selecting Granit Xhaka as the new captain of Arsenal, one player was overlooked during the process and has become an integral part of the Gunners’ starting lineup.
Matteo Guendouzi, 20, arrived from French side Lorient for £8m and his hard work and dedication has been rewarded in a cemented first-team place as a holding midfielder. A position that he has made his own since making the switch across the English Channel in 2018.
The Frenchman, who is yet to earn an international cap for his country, made 33 appearances for Arsenal last season including 23 starts as a 19-year-old. This illustrates how much faith that Emery had in him by bringing him to north London and giving him an opportunity in the heart of the Gunners’ midfield.
On the chalkboard
Guendouzi was applauded for his recent performance against Manchester United due to the battling and scrapping he was involved in during the 90 minutes. From a defensive point of view, the youngster managed a pass completion percentage of 90.2% and made three clearances throughout a game that lacked quality.
With Per Mertesacker describing the Frenchman as a “future leader” in the side, his attitude and commitment to the cause can inspire confidence around him and inject a new lease of life into his side with his tenacity and willingness to win back possession. Because of these characteristics, he must start against Bournemouth on Sunday to break down opposition attacks.
With the likelihood of playing against the Cherries’ duo of Jefferson Lerma and Philip Billing, it will be essential that any supply to Callum Wilson is cut off and playing alongside Dani Ceballos will give the creativity that the team needs and guide Arsenal to victory and three precious points.