Mkhitaryan: I'd never heard of Guendouzi

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The Arsenal forward admits he was unaware of the French youngster when he linked up with the Gunners, but is backing him to star in the Premier League

Henrikh Mkhitaryan admits he had “never heard of” Matteo Guendouzi when Arsenal moved to snap up the French youngster over the summer.

The Gunners took in a low-key transfer window, with new boss Unai Emery unable to work with the riches on offer elsewhere.

That forced the Spaniard, along with head of recruitment Sven Mislintat, to go in search of hidden gems.

One bargain they have unearthed is 19-year-old midfielder Guendouzi, with Mkhitaryan among those to have been impressed by a relative unknown following his arrival from Ligue 2 side Lorient.

The Armenian playmaker told RMC: “To be honest, I had never heard of him. I had never seen him play.

“He really impressed me in his first training session. We said: ‘Oh, he's got a lot of quality, he can bring a lot of good things to the club.’

“When the coach decided to start him in his first game for the club, I agreed with it because he deserved it.

“We'll try and help him to do everything he can. We hope he can do more in the next matches, too.”

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Emery has displayed considerable faith in Guendouzi after handing him an opportunity to impress in pre-season.

The youngster made his Premier League bow against reigning champions Manchester City on the opening weekend, and has retained his place for meetings with Chelsea and West Ham.

His mature performances have belied his tender years, with big things now expected of an exciting talent who was acquired for just £7 million ($9m).

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