Matteo Guendouzi signed for Arsenal on Wednesday morning, in one of the lower profile moves of the summer, but he’s already winning fans over nonetheless.
Supporters had reason to be pleased with Guendouzi’s signature right from the off, because he’d turned down a number of the Gunners’ rivals to join.
As long ago as December Sky Sports were reporting interest from Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, but the 19-year-old stayed put until Arsenal came in for him. Unai Emery confirmed that “a lot of clubs were interested in him”, so it’s good to see Arsenal still has that pulling power with young players.
Next the young midfielder spoke to the club interviewer, and it wasn’t difficult to hear his excitement for his new team.
“Arsenal have always been the team closest to my heart, and a side I’ve wanted to join since I was a child,” he said. “It gives me great pride, it’s incredible. It doesn’t get any better than coming to a club like this, with so much history, like Arsenal.”
More than that, he made his ambitions very clear, with silverware clearly the main thing on his mind.
“My hope is to become a top player here at Arsenal,” he added. “I want to become part of the club’s history & to achieve great things here. I want to win titles, titles, titles. Winning silverware, as I said, is very important to me and winning things here at Arsenal would be incredible.”
Next he took to social media to express how happy he is to join “the legendary Arsenal Football Club”, and promised to fight for the side and the fans.
I am really happy to join the legendary Arsenal Football Club. I wanted to thank you all for the trust you put in me and I’m looking forward to training and playing on the renowned Emirates Stadium with my new team. I’m going to fight for the club and the fans. I want to make history with the Gunners 🙏🏼 I can’t wait to meet you all! • Now I'am a Gunner 🔴⚪️ Je suis très heureux de rejoindre cet incroyable club qu'est Arsenal. Je tenais à remercier toutes les personnes qui ont cru en moi et qui m'ont soutenu depuis le début. Je suis impatient de porter ce maillot, fouler la pelouse de l'Emirate Stadium, ce stade mythique qui fait tant rêver et rencontrer ses magnifiques supporters. Mais tout cela dans l'ultime objectif de travailler pour le succès de mon nouveau club. Pressé de vous rencontrer tous ! • Je suis un Gunner 🔴⚪️ #MG29 #arsenal
Taking the number 29, which was free after Granit Xhaka’s switch to 34, Matteo then got straight into training with the team.
With the u19 European Championships coming up next week, we’ll have to wait and see whether the midfielder joins up with the France squad as planned, or continues with pre-season in North London. Either way, he’s definitely making a positive first impression, so let’s hope that continues.