Arsenal summer sale confirmed by club chief as star declares ‘best choice’ of his career

Pablo Longoria, Thierry Henry November 2021

Matteo Guendouzi will sign for Marseille from Arsenal permanently after meeting the relevant clauses in his loan deal, the French club have confirmed.

The 22-year-old midfielder initially arrived in north London in 2018 following interest from then-boss Unai Emery. Guendouzi consequently starred in the Spaniard’s final full season in charge at the Emirates.

However, after an incident away at Brighton in June 2020, Mikel Arteta dropped him from the squad. He therefore spent last season loan at Hertha Berlin but struggled to convince.

Nevertheless, he moved away from Arsenal again last summer – back to his native France – and has impressed. While Guendouzi has still faced criticism for his attitude, Marseille boss Jorge Sampaoli hailed the midfielder’s “contagious” desire to win and energy in January.

And speaking on an RMC Sport show, Marseille president Pablo Longoria confirmed that Guendouzi will sign for Marseille permanently this summer.

He has played 38 times in all competitions this term and has now fulfilled all the relevant clauses. The one-cap France international will sign a three-year deal.

Guendouzi told the show: “It’s a well-considered choice. There were very good discussions with the president, the coach, people in my family.

“It’s the best choice I’ve made. done for many years. It started a little before the transfer window. Today, I am very happy and fulfilled here.”

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He added: “I’ve always had the mentality of wanting to play, to win, in training and in matches.

“I arrived in England very young, I still have a lot to learn. I have matured a lot, which means that I have flourished here.”

Guendouzi has featured in all 26 Ligue 1 games for Marseille, chipping in with three goals and eight assists.

The top-flight club sit second in the French top flight and are the nearest challengers to runaway leaders Paris Saint-Germain.

Guendouzi exit part of Arsenal transformation

Matteo Guendouzi Marseille September 2021

Arsenal boss Arteta has revolutionised his midfield since arriving back at north London in December 2019.

He initially brought back Mohamed Elneny, who had become frozen out under Emery.

Arteta has also made statement signings such as Thomas Partey, Martin Odegaard and Albert Sambi Lokonga.

But the manager has looked further in-house to integrate Emile Smith Rowe into the team. The Englishman is now a centrepiece of the Gunners’ attack.

As for exits, Lucas Torreira could soon leave permanently like Guendouzi. The Uruguayan is on loan at Fiorentina, who have been impressed with the former Sampdoria man’s progress back in Serie A.