A report in France claims Matteo Guendouzi is winning over the Marseille fans but his attitude is likely to see him end up in trouble with opposition players.
The 22-year-old is currently on a season-long loan in the south of France after being frozen out by the Gunners. The former France Under-21 star joined Arsenal from Lorient in the summer of 2018. He made 23 starts among 33 Premier League outings during the 2018-2019 campaign.
The Frenchman’s game time fell to 24 league outings the following season while his suspect temperament began to raise its ugly head. Guendouzi was excluded from training and left out of match-day squads after a post-match altercation with Brighton’s Neal Maupay.
It was one of a number of incidents that led to his ‘attitude and general conduct’ being brought into question. Manager Mikel Arteta sent him out on loan to Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin.
The midfielder enjoyed 24 top-flight appearances, scoring twice for Die Alte Dame. Any thoughts of a reconciliation with Arteta were soon scuppered as the former Paris Saint-Germain youth star was loaned out again.
He went back to his homeland, inking a 12-month deal with Les Phoceens. The contract includes an option-to-buy depending on certain conditions being met.
He has likely kicked his last ball for the north Londoners, with his Emirates deal due to expire in June next year. The Marseille fans seem to have accepted the divisive schemer.
But French publication L’Equipe (via Sport Witness) carry a quote from an unnamed opponent suggesting that trouble is always on the horizon.
It read: “He insults freely but he knows very well with whom he allows himself to behave like that. One day he’ll pick on the wrong person and it will end very badly.”
Guendouzi grating on Marseille team-mates
Guendouzi is the latest in a long line of players who feel it is their job to be controversial. They see it as their task to wind up opposition players but can become annoying to colleagues as well.
Arteta is trying to build a new side at Arsenal capable of challenging for honours once again. He needs harmony in the ranks and Guendouzi does not fit the blueprint.
Back in September he clashed with team-mate Gerson during Marseille’s 3-2 defeat by Lens. L’Equipe reported that the Poissy-born star asked the Brazil international “when are you going to start running”.
The supporters may miss him – but not the players.