Matteo Guendouzi Arsenal 2019-20Getty Images

‘Guendouzi to Barcelona is a long shot’ – Arsenal midfielder would need ‘huge improvement’, says Winterburn

Matteo Guendouzi would require “huge improvement” in order to make the grade at Barcelona, says Nigel Winterburn, with the Arsenal legend considering rumours of the Liga giants showing interest in the Frenchman to be “a long shot”.

Questions continue to be asked of Guendouzi’s attitude, with Gunners boss Mikel Arteta having dropped him from his Premier League plans as a result.

Barcelona are among those said to be monitoring Guendouzi’s situation, with the Catalan giants mulling over a move for a player who still boasts plenty of potential.

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Winterburn, though, cannot see the Blaugrana taking a punt on an enigmatic talent who is far from being the finished article on both ability and character fronts.

The former Arsenal defender told "I think there would need to be a huge improvement in Guendouzi’s game for Barcelona to be willing to take him. He’s a young kid who’s made big improvements but there’s a long way to go, so that would surprise me if it turns out to be true.

"Arsenal wouldn’t just let him go easily even if they do decide to sell him, it would need to be a substantial fee, so would Barcelona think he’s worth the risk? If the price is right, maybe, but it seems like a bit of a long shot to me."

Big things were expected of Guendouzi when he burst onto the scene at Arsenal in 2018-19, with a promising debut campaign in England seeing him play more minutes than many had expected.

He is, however, enduring a testing time at present and Winterburn believes Arteta is taking the right approach in showing those at his disposal who is boss.

The ex-Gunners full-back added: "Arteta doesn’t seem to be the type of manager to accept any excuses, we’ve already seen that he’s not afraid to leave players out of the squad who don’t toe the line and I really admire him for that because he’s clearly trying to instil some discipline.

"With Guendouzi, it all comes down to the player’s actions as well as the manager. I don’t know exactly what issues there are with Guendouzi, but it looks like the manager has had a word with him and asked him to show that he can do what is asked of him for the benefit of the team so everyone can move forward.

"If the player is not willing to do that, or has taken offence in some way, then you usually find that the player will ultimately force his way out of the club. He’s a young player who has made some improvements over a short period of time but there’s a lot more room for development from him.

"It’s up to the player to turn this situation around. It looks as though Arteta has thrown down the gauntlet to try and test his resolve, and if Guendouzi reacts in the wrong way then he’ll be gone. You can’t have someone in your squad who is disturbing the rest of the team.

"I have to say I like the way Arteta is organising the team and how he is dealing with these situations, it seems as though he won’t take any messing around and that’s a good thing – it’s been too easy at Arsenal for too long."