One of the more surprising choices Unai Emery has made in his short time as Arsenal manager so far, it’s picking Mattéo Guendouzi regularly.
The young midfielder arrived from Ligue 2 side Lorient and wasn’t expected to really feature, seen more as one for the future, but some great preseason performances and Lucas Torreira’s late arrival allowed him to fight for a spot in the first-team.
Quickly becoming a fan favourite with his passion, the 19-year-old sat down with Ouest-France to discuss his early experience at the club, including why he chose Arsenal in the first place.
He said: “It’s the club of my heart, the one I support since I was a kid. I grew up watching videos of Vieira, Henry and the others with my father. French players who made history. When I knew the club was interested to bring me in, I didn’t hesitate”.
Trying to not his newfound celebrity get to his head, Guendouzi’s first thought everyday is to give his all on the pitch, with a spot in the France national team at the back of his mind, even if it isn’t a priority.
He continued: “For now, I’m focused on my goals with Arsenal. I’m not rushing things. They will happen if they happen, but obviously, it’s a dream for me. I’m going to do everything to get there one day. If I do it, it’ll be amazing.”
Describing his first few weeks as a ‘daydream’, it’s fair to say Guendouzi is excited, but more importantly for Arsenal fans, he looks exciting.
Enthusiasm only gets you so far, but enthusiasm and talent is a great combination.