Is Exclusion Form Arsenal Squad A Sign Of Matteo Guendouzi Exit? Transfer Rumors
Matteo Guendouzi, a talented midfielder at Arsenal, has been on the news recently, and not for good reasons. He has been headbutting with Arsenal's coaching and management for a while now, and this has resulted in him being left out of the squad on a number of occasions.
But what exactly happened that led to this situation, and how have the player and the club responded to this?
What happened between Guendouzi at Arsenal?
The Telegraph reports that Guendouzi was involved in a training ground bust-up with the Arsenal's coaching staff, including the head coach Mikel Arteta during Arsenal’s mid-season winter training camp at Dubai in February 2020.
This argument didn’t end on the training pitch as him and the coaching staff continued the debate even at their hotel later that evening.
Arsenal's first match after the break was against Newcastle at their home. The home side score 4 second-half goals against the Magpies. However, Guendouzi was excluded from the match.
The head coach, Mikel Arteta, spoke with bEIN Sports after the match and hinted about why Guendouzi was not selected in the playing 11. He said:
The reason is that players who, in my opinion, are training better, behaving better and are more applied to deliver on the pitch what we want, are the players that are selected.
How has this situation progressed?
The young Frenchman has not featured regularly for Arsenal following his spat with Arteta. Since he was left out of the squad to face Newcastle, Guendouzi has played in only three of the possible six matches in the Premier League. He was not brought on against West Ham in March and was not included in the squad in the last two PL games: away game against Southampton FC and home game against Norwich City. Additionally, he was also not in the squad for Arsenal’s FA Cup tie against Sheffield United on 28th June and EFL Cup third round match against Nottingham Forest on 24th June.
While it is possible that he might have been kept on the bench against West Ham for purely tactical purposes, his exclusion from the squad in the last three matches has been entirely his own fault. Arteta primarily has decided not to pick Guendouzi following his antics during a 2-1 loss against Brighton and Hove Albion.
Matteo Guendouzi has fallen out of favor at Arsenal following his training ground spout with Arteta and his bad conduct during a game against Brighton in June 2020 (Photo: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
During the PL clash against Brighton on the 20th of June 2020, Guendouzi grabbed Brighton’s Neal Maupay’s throat during a physical altercation after the final whistle.
The referee for this match, Martin Atkinson, missed this incident. However, the Premier League VAR team reviewed the incident before FA also conducted an investigation for violent conduct. However, the FA decided against the ban.
However, Daily Mail sources also stated that Guendouzi also directed insults at Brighton players during the match regarding their quality and their wage status and pointed out the difference between the two teams in regards to their quality and wages. The sources also claimed that Guendouzi blamed Maupay for Bernd Leno, Arsenal's goalkeeper’s injury during the match.
Is The Situation Between Guendouzi And Mikel Areta Normal Now?
The problems between Guendouzi and Arteta have only gotten worse since the incident during the Brighton game. According to the head coach, nothing has changed in terms of his attitude.
During the post-match conference after the home-win against Norwich City on the 1st of July, Arteta revealed his reasons for not including the player in the squad. “Things have to change and nothing has changed.” he said, clarifying that the reason for his exclusion was similar to before.
Doubts Over his future? Transfer Reports And Rumors
Guendouzi’s exclusion from the squad has raised questions over his future. Mikel Arteta is clearly not happy with the player’s conduct at the club, and he has expressed his feelings by not letting him play.
And the feelings seem to be mutual for Guendouzi, according to L’Equipe. The magazine reports that the French player wants to leave Arsenal due to a lack of game time. However, the magazine claims that he doesn't have a bad relationship with Arteta.
Almost not long after the report made headlines, ESPN sources verified the transfer request made by Guendouzi and also revealed that the Arsenal's board was not willing to sell the talented midfielder.
Guendouzi Transfer Rumors
However, a week after the reported rejection by the board, reports have started to float stating that Arsenal's willingness to let Guendouzi go to bring someone else.
A report from Daily Mail states that the club is in need of immediate cash and they are willing to use Guendouzi as a makeshift in any swap deals over the summer transfer window. Furthermore, Metro speculates that he could be available for £36 million Euros.
Now, L’Equipe reports that the first clubs that are interested in the 21-year-old midfielder are Manchester United, Barcelona, PSG, Inter Milan, and Atletico Madrid.
And according to the magazine, the Red Devils could offer up to three players in exchange for Guendouzi. Those players could be Jesse Lingard, Chris Smalling, and Alexis Sanchez.