Robert Pires has hailed the influence made by new signing Matteo Guendouzi in the new look Arsenal side under Unai Emery.
Guendouzi on moving to Arsenal: “Once they positioned themselves, I didn’t hesitate, I orientated myself in the direction. I think when I was young, I watched a lot of Arsenal, but the fact that there are a lot of French guys there played a big role.” #afc pic.twitter.com/GiEKFrDmxY
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) December 12, 2018
The 19-year-old arrived from French side FC Lorient in July this summer transfer window for a £7.2m bargain fee. The player has since then made a promising start to his life in the Premier League and has made 22 appearances for the Gunners this season with a solitary goal coming against Qarabag in the Europa League.
And Arsenal legend Robert Pires was impressed by the youngster and praised his influence on Unai Emery’s side this year.
When asked about Guendouzi he said,
“Of course, for Arsenal fans, for journalists and for some people he has been a great surprise, because nobody knew him when he signed for Arsenal”
the former Arsenal midfielder told iNews.
“But he’s a great player, he’s very talented and he’s very confident.”
It's still early days in the season, but Guendouzi has been impressive for Arsenal so far, and his stats are brilliant for a 19-year-old. All credit to the Arsenal scouting team to spotting him. pic.twitter.com/Rs5esliTUZ
— Ashwin Raman (@AshwinRaman_) December 18, 2018
Pires previously called fellow new signing Lucas Torreira a ‘warrior’ and the Frenchman had no doubt using the same word to describe Guendouzi.
“For me, it was not a surprise because I know him. He plays simple, he runs a lot, he’s like a warrior. I think he’s like Lucas Torreira.”
“For Arsenal it’s very important to have a player like Matteo Guendouzi. He’s a good player and I think he can make a success with Arsenal. I hope so.”
Unai Emery inherited a squad that was dealing with problems in each department of the field. And in the summer transfer window, Arsenal lost two good but injury-prone midfielders in Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla. Everybody thought that it will be tough for Emery to find good midfielders in the market.
But Emery proved everybody wrong and signed both Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi for just a combined fee of £34.20m. This type of astute business by Emery has riped fruits for them as they have put an end to many question marks on their transfer dealings.
After his transfer from FC Lorient, Guendouzi was earlier thought to be joining the Arsenal Under-23 side but he impressed everybody in the pre-season and the manager also showed trust in him by giving him enough game-time to express himself.
? "He’s 19 but he’s playing like he’s been there forever. I’m watching him like I want to be against him because he is pissing me off with the confidence he has! He's everywhere on the pitch, running without a problem. He’s unbelievable."
– Dimitar Berbatov on Mattéo Guendouzi pic.twitter.com/ABPDYjKLFl
— Football Talk (@Football_TaIk) December 15, 2018
Torreira and Guendouzi, both being only 22 and 19 respectively, are the future of Arsenal’s midfield. With both of them already getting enough minutes on the pitch, under a coach like Emery, they will be the backbone and ‘Warriors’ of the side that Arsenal fans hope to challenge for the Premier League title next season.
Arsenal will be up against Burnley at home this Saturday, after their Carabao Cup exit at the hands of rivals Tottenham.