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Guendouzi determined to take big chance after ‘massive improvement’ at Arsenal

12:23 AM GMT+8 07/09/2019
Matteo Guendouzi Arsenal 2019-20
The 20-year-old midfielder has been drafted into the senior France squad for the first time, with his performances at club level being rewarded

Matteo Guendouzi believes he has “improved massively” during his time at Arsenal and is determined to make the most of his big chance with France.

The 20-year-old midfielder has been drafted into Didier Deschamps’ squad for the first time.

Injuries to World Cup winners such as Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante have allowed the Gunners starlet to make a step up from the U21 ranks sooner than he had expected.

Having reached a senior international stage, Guendouzi is now determined to prove that he is deserving of such recognition.

“It was always a dream to be called up one day for the national team,” he told ESPN FC.

“I have played in all the youth teams since I was 16 years old. I have worked so hard to get here, with the France A team.

“It is maybe a bit of surprise that it has arrived so quickly but I knew that if I was performing with Arsenal, one of the biggest clubs in Europe, then I would have a chance. My chance is now and I want to take it.”

Guendouzi arrived at Arsenal in the summer of 2018 as a relative unknown.

A £7 million ($9m) fee was required to prise him away from Lorient, but he was considered to be an addition for the future in north London.

Unai Emery quickly countered that by throwing Guendouzi into the Premier League deep end and the promising schemer has not looked back, with the 50-appearance mark for the Gunners passed in the early weeks of the 2019-20 campaign.

Big things are now expected from a player with plenty of potential to still unlock, with impressive progress having been made to this point.

“I have a strong temper with a lot of determination,” Guendouzi added.

“I believe in myself and in my qualities. I don't take anything for granted because I know that only hard work pays off. That's why I am here.

“I really feel that I have improved massively in the last year or so. Tactically, I am more mature, technically and physically, I have taken my game to the next level.”

Guendouzi has been an ever-present for Arsenal so far this season and will be hoping to get his first minutes with France during their upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Albania and Andorra.