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Guendouzi addresses ‘bad boy’ image & Arsenal future under Arteta in 2021-22

5:24 AM EDT 3/16/21
Matteo Guendouzi Arsenal 2019-20
The French midfielder was loaned out by the Gunners for the current campaign, but he can see himself returning to England from Hertha Berlin

Matteo Guendouzi has refuted accusations of being a “bad boy” and claimed that he could still have a future at Arsenal despite being sent out on loan by Mikel Arteta to Hertha Berlin for the 2020-21 campaign.

The French midfielder endured a humbling tumble down the pecking order at Emirates Stadium as questions began to be asked of his attitude and ability to toe the line under a new coaching regime.

He is out of sight in north London for now, but is not out of mind and claims that the final year of his contract with Premier League heavyweights could be honoured as he returns to the fold from a stint in the Bundesliga.

What has been said?

Guendouzi has told France Football of his future: “I am focused on my season at Hertha Berlin. Then, we will make a point with my entourage and the people of the club to ask and discuss the future.

“I am still an Arsenal player. This summer will be a decisive deadline.

“I belong to Arsenal for another year. I am here [at Hertha] to improve.

“From the moment that I am playing for Arsenal, I will give everything for this club, for the fans, for the team, for the staff. I will work hard for the shirt as I have always done.”

How many games has Guendouzi played for Arsenal?

The fiery 21-year-old was snapped up by the Gunners from Lorient in the summer of 2018.

He was handed first-team opportunities by Unai Emery quicker than many anticipated following his arrival in England, with a debut made against Manchester City.

Guendouzi earned plenty of plaudits when taking in 48 appearances across his debut campaign and remained a prominent part of the Arsenal squad once Arteta succeeded fellow Spaniard Emery.

He has taken in 82 outings for the Gunners in total, but the last of those came against Brighton on June 20, 2020 when he became embroiled in a petulant post-game war of words with Seagulls striker Neal Maupay.

Will Guendouzi play for Arsenal again?

Arteta deemed Guendouzi to be surplus to requirements and has subsequently bolstered his midfield ranks by bringing in Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid.

It may be that a France U21 international is offloaded this summer, but a divisive character insists that he has no need to change his ways and has been unfairly portrayed as a difficult player to manage.

Guendouzi has added: “I’m not a bad boy, quite the contrary.

“If you want to succeed, you have to have a very good character, but also this personality to always want to be the best, always to want to win, to progress. It will differentiate you.

“There are a lot of very good players. Excellent people have failed to turn pro and, for these cases, the mentality has a very large part of the responsibility.

“My character and my personality have allowed me to do great things. It will still help me to go to the highest level.”

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