Matteo Guendouzi has suddenly announced his departure at Arsenal, having penned an emotional letter to supporters to confirm he won’t be returning to London.
The French midfielder always looked likely to be sold by the Gunners this summer. He was turfed out on loan to Hertha Berlin last season after disciplinary issues got under the skin of Mikel Arteta. As such, he’s being strongly linked with a return to Ligue 1.
Marseille were stated to have already agreed personal terms with the 22-year-old in June. The sticking point remains the fee they are willing to pay. Arsenal are said to be seeking £17m while Marseille do not wish to rise above £10m.
However, with Arsenal yet to make public any decision on Guendouzi’s future, the player has seemingly beaten them to it.
Taking to Instagram, the player wrote a lengthy letter thanking the club for an “unforgettable time”.
He wrote: “Thank you Arsenal. Thanks for everything!
“I discovered and learned so much during my time here. It would be impossible to list everything without forgetting one memory or word… but I will never forget any minute spent with the Gunners jersey.
“I will never forget the Emirates Stadium. I will never forget the fans and I won’t forget the city.”
Guendouzi added: “I will never forget everything I’ve been through here. I will never forget that my only will was to defend with pride Arsenal colours.
“Thanks to all of those who believed in me during my time here, during the good and the bad moments. I can only wish the best to the club and its fans who deserve so much, trust me! Goodbye Arsenal, I will never forget you and will be a Gooner forever.”
“To see that the club failed to qualify for a European competition for the first time in 25 years hurts deeply,” Guendouzi told Bild. “That affects me emotionally a lot.
“Arsenal are a big club in Europe that deserve to be in the Champions League every year. That’s normal for me, an institution like this deserves only the best.
“Arsenal must return to where it belongs. I don’t know the reasons for the failure because I wasn’t there last season. But I’m concerned about the club’s situation because Arsenal deserve great things.”
Guendouzi in farewell to Hertha
With a transfer to Marseille now the likely outcome, Guendouzi has also thanked Hertha Berlin for his time in the Bundesliga.
“To new beginnings, he wrote. “A difficult day arrives, this one, the day to say goodbye to an entire institution for which I had the immense privilege and honor to play football and defend its blazon in an extraordinary championship made of professionalism and humility.
“I joined not only a club but a family, I’ve met amazing people who became friends for life. Many thanks to Michael Preetz, Bruno Labbadia, Arne Friedrich and Pal Dardai for making this possible.
“I’m leaving happy because I gave the best of myself and we’ve managed to stay in the Bundesliga.
“My thoughts also go to all the employees who work behind the scenes but work with dedication on behalf of the club’s common good, without forgetting all the fans who are passionate about the club and have shown unwavering support.
“This experience has been a source of inspiration and I hope I have lived up to the confidence the club has given me.
“The club helped me in difficult situations and encouraged me when I was at the top. I just wanted to work with respect, dedication and defend the club’s values.
“And I wish Hertha Berlin the best. I leave with a lot of emotions, that’s why, with respect and affection, thank you and HaHoHe.”