Matteo Guendouzi recently completed a loan transfer to Hertha Berlin from Arsenal and he will spend the next year in the German Bundesliga. The 21-year-old had joined the Gunners from Lorient in 2018 and became an instant fan-favorite due to his passion and commitment on the field.
Having initially gotten his breakthrough under Arsene Wenger, Guendouzi went on to become a mainstay in the first team under Unai Emery and many earmarked him as the long-awaited successor to Patrick Vieira, with others going as far as proclaiming him a future Arsenal captain.
However, things soon unraveled for the France Under-21 international, following an on-field clash with Brighton players post-lockdown that led to a backstage row with coach Mikel Arteta.
The Arsenal manager reportedly asked for a public apology from the midfielder. Guendouzi refused and he has not played another match for the north London side since then.
He made a total of 81 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners before his transfer and played a key role in the club's run to the UEFA Europa League final in 2018.
A positive COVID-19 test has delayed his debut for Hertha Berlin but recent comments by Guendouzi suggest that his time at Arsenal could be up.
Matteo Guendouzi opens up on the role Ozil played in his Arsenal exit
Speaking to German publication Kicker, Guendouzi said:
“I had a very good relationship with Mesut Ozil and Bernd Leno. Both of them told me a lot of good things about the Bundesliga."
“I played over 80 games there [at Arsenal] and had a good, intense time there."
“I learned a lot there in terms of sport and grew up there. It was two good years for me.”
Ozil, who has also been frozen out of the Arsenal first team, has an uncertain future at the Emirates.
The World Cup winner was excluded from the club's squads for both the Premier League and Europa League earlier this month. In the wake of his Arsenal snub, the midfielder came out with a statement accusing the club of disloyalty.
The former Real Madrid star still has seven months left on his bumper contract and looks set to see off his current deal, while the club are desperate to get him off the wage bill.
After recovering from COVID-19, Guendouzi finally trained with his teammates last week and could be in line to make his debut when his team hosts VFL Wolfsburg on Sunday.
Published 31 Oct 2020, 19:53 IST