Sven Mislintat says Matteo Guendouzi caught his eye with his long hair and personality on the field, but he was also interested in the ‘bad habits’ of the midfielder’s game.
Speaking in an interview with German outlet Die Zeit this week, Mislintat discussed the signing of 19-year-old Guendouzi, who has already made such an impact on the Arsenal team and won the hearts of the fans.
The Gunners’ Head of Recruitment says the ex-Lorient midfielder caught his attention for three reasons:
“I saw him play in Lorient, when the club was still in Ligue 1,” Mislintat began. “I like this club, you always find interesting players. Guendouzi attracted attention with his long hair and his personality, but what interests me is also the weak points of a player. Can we work on it?
“Mattéo runs everywhere on the field, but for me, it was clear: with time, we were going to end this bad habit. For us, the transfer of a young man of 18 years was an important signal to show the world: We are Arsenal again, the one that gives a real chance to young players.”
When assessing a young player’s potential, there are always two sides to your judgement. Firstly, you have to look at what they’re good at, and whether those strengths are useful attributes to have in your team. Secondly, you have to look at their weaknesses and evaluate if they’re things the player could really improve.
In the case of Guendouzi, Mislintat clearly believed that his weaknesses could be nullified with the proper coaching, so he saw fit to make the recommendation to Arsenal.
So far, it’s proving a fantastic signing. Guendouzi has already helped Arsenal to win a number of key games, and clearly has room to get even better. Let’s hope he reaches his full potential in North London.