During the summer, it was reported that Matteo Guendouzi was set to get a new Arsenal contract to reflect his importance to the first team but there has been nothing mentioned since, so what happened?

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 27: Matteo Guendouzi looks on with team mates during an Arsenal training session on the eve of their UEFA Europa League match against Eintracht Frankfurt at London Colney on November 27, 2019 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
ST ALBANS, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 27: Matteo Guendouzi looks on with team mates during an Arsenal training session on the eve of their UEFA Europa League match against Eintracht Frankfurt at London Colney on November 27, 2019 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

When Arsenal signed Matteo Guendouzi we were told he was ‘one for the future’. At just 19-years-of-age and coming from Lorient, that seemed reasonable.

Then, he played in 33 Premier League games and a total of 48 in all competitions and we realised he wasn’t the future, he was the present.

Guendouzi initially signed a four-year contract worth a £40kpw. That’s not an insignificant sum for a teenager as he was then, but fast-forward 12 months and he’s now a Premier League first team regular who has been called up to the senior France squad.

France's midfielder Matteo Guendouzi (C) gestures in front of France's head coach Didier Deschamps during a training session in Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines on November 12, 2019, as part of the team's preparation for the upcoming qualification Euro-2020 football matches against Moladavia and Albania. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)
France’s midfielder Matteo Guendouzi (C) gestures in front of France’s head coach Didier Deschamps during a training session in Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines on November 12, 2019, as part of the team’s preparation for the upcoming qualification Euro-2020 football matches against Moladavia and Albania. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

Needless to say, there’s the chance another club could turn his head with a large offer so Arsenal were reportedly keen to fend that off by offering him a salary more in keeping with his new-found stature at the club.

At the end of July, it was reported that talks had begun on a new 5-year-deal worth a reported £70kpw, almost doubling his wages. Since then, however, there has been nothing more on this story.

Despite starting every league game under Unai Emery this season, Guendouzi found himself on the bench against Brighton on Thursday night. He was taken also off against Norwich, only the third time that has happened in the league.

Guendouzi was seen as a key first-team player under Emery, a guaranteed starter in the Premier League. What his future holds under Freddie Ljungberg and whoever follows is less clear.

NORWICH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01: Matteo Guendouzi of Arsenal acknowledges fans during the Premier League match between Norwich City and Arsenal FC at Carrow Road on December 01, 2019 in Norwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)
NORWICH, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 01: Matteo Guendouzi of Arsenal acknowledges fans during the Premier League match between Norwich City and Arsenal FC at Carrow Road on December 01, 2019 in Norwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

He was brought in as a player for the future and, while he has excelled, perhaps he should have been given more room to grow and mature before being handed a senior starting role.

All that being said, a new contract would not be the worst idea in the world and you do have to wonder why it’s taking so long to get anywhere and why there has been no mention of talks ‘stalling’ as the press look to kick Arsenal even more as they continue their slide down.

Perhaps the talks never started to begin with and they’d rather not draw attention to that.

Who knows?

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.