Matteo Guendouzi has had a very good first season at Arsenal, with the 19 year old increasingly looking like a bargain purchase from Lorient.
His enthusiasm for the game has gone down well with fans of the London club, who will hope they can see their player progress well in the years to come.
The youngster isn’t the only sportsman in his family, older brother Bastien Bénard is a retired jockey.
There’s a big gap between the pair, with Bénard being 14 years older, but he believes Guendouzi already has a good level of maturity, partly because of the work football clubs put in with their young talents.
Speaking to Le Parisien, he explained: “He is very well surrounded, especially by my parents and his agent, and already has great maturity. Footballers are much better guided than jockeys. In Lorient, from the age of 15, he took courses in communication and advice to manage things outside the sport. This does not exist in horse races: we are alone!”
Guendouzi wasn’t only of interest to Arsenal during the summer, PSG were also keen. The footballer had left their youth system in 2014, feeling there weren’t enough chances being given to youngsters, and the French club lost out again four years later.
Bénard explains: “I knew that Unai Emery had been following him for a long time. He had spotted him when Lorient conceded 5-0 at the Parc (PSG, 5 Lorient 0, December 2016) and Matteo had played only the last thirty minutes. So, I can tell you that he did not hesitate a long time when he knew that the Spanish coach was going to Arsenal even if PSG had done the forcing.”