Arsenal loanee Guendouzi eager to stay at Marseille for the 'long term'

Arsenal loanee Matteo Guendouzi has admitted that he is eager to stay at Marseille for "the long term".

Guendouzi initially joined Arsenal from Lorient in 2018, establishing himself as a key member of the squad under Unai Emery before his sacking a year later.

The Frenchman found himself frozen out of the team under Emery's successor, Mikel Arteta, due to disciplinary issues, and was sent to Marseille on a season-long loan in the summer.

What's been said?

Guendouzi has rediscovered his best form at Stade Velodrome, and although the midfielder is still under contract at Arsenal until 2023, he would prefer not to return to Emirates Stadium.

Speaking while away on international duty with France, Guendouzi told reporters of his happiness at Marseille, who have the option to buy him outright at the end of the season.

"Today, I am on loan and still bound by my contract at Arsenal. But I'm totally focused on what to do with Olympique de Marseille," he told reporters.

"And yes, it's a club with which I want to project myself into the future and I want to join in the long term. 

"These are discussions that I had already had with the club before signing and I feel very comfortable there. And that's why I want to continue to have fun at Olympique de Marseille."

Guendouzi's impressive start at Marseille

Guendouzi has been ever-present for Marseille in Ligue 1 this term, recording three goals and three assists in 13 outings.

His performances have helped Jorge Sampaoli's side rise to second in the table, and he has also appeared in all four of their Europa League group-stage fixtures.

Guendouzi backs Benzema for Ballon d'Or

Guendouzi also expressed his belief that Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema deserves to win the Ballon d'Or after an outstanding year.

The likes of Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski are also in the running, but Guendouzi believes his compatriot should get the nod for his consistency on both the club and international stage.

"Yes [Benzema should win] because he is an exceptional player," he said. "For several years now, what he has been doing with Real Madrid is really magnificent. 

"Even his return to the France team brings a lot to the team, he scored important goals for us."

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