Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi has revealed that team-mates Mesut Ozil and Bernd Leno's Bundesliga praises helped convince him to accept a loan move to Hertha Berlin, with the 21-year-old implying that the door is shut on his Gunners future.
The former Lorient youth graduate, a Europa League finalist under Unai Emery in 2019, has made the move from England to Germany this season in search of more minutes after struggling for regular game-time under Mikel Arteta.
The midfielder joined the north London outfit in 2018, and emerged as a solid presence in his first Premier League season, but will now try his fortunes with Bruno Labbadia's side.
Speaking out on his move to mainland Europe, France youth international Guendouzi has now revealed that Ozil and Leno - both German internationals at various points throughout their career and veterans of the Bundesliga - helped convince him to make the switch.
"I had a very good relationship with Mesut Ozil and Bernd Leno," the 21-year-old told Kicker. “Both of them told me a lot of good things about the Bundesliga.”
Further reflecting on his time at the Emirates Stadium, Guendouzi suggested that his long-term future appears to be away from Arsenal, indicating that he may move on to new pastures at the conclusion of his loan spell.
“I played over 80 games there and had a good, intense time there,” he added. “I learned a lot there in terms of sport and grew up there. It was two good years for me.”
Guendouzi spent the majority of his youth career at Paris Saint-Germain before making the switch to Lorient in 2014, emerging into the club's senior ranks two years later.
His form in France caught the eye of the Gunners, and he became one of former manager Emery's key purchases during his first transfer window, proceeding to feature in over 30 top-flight games in his first season in charge.
However, he slipped out of contention under subsequent boss Arteta and was reportedly excluded from group training at the club as recently as July due to alleged attitude and conduct issues.
Guendouzi is not the only player to have found themselves on the outs at Arsenal, with Ozil likely searching for a new home after he was snubbed for this season's Premier League and Europa League squads.