Marseille have an ‘automatic option to buy’ Matteo Guendouzi at the end of his loan spell with the player imagining himself staying with the Ligue 1 side for ‘many years’.
Whether it’s because he couldn’t handle or him or didn’t want to because he was an Unai Emery player, Mikel Arteta decided early on that he didn’t want Matteo Guendouzi.
Arriving at Arsenal as a teenager labelled ‘one for the future’, Emery threw him straight into the first team, where he kept his place.
Few would have disagreed with his inclusion, either.
Sure, he was temperamental and had a lot to learn. He was, after all, only 19. But the talent was there and that was clear to everybody.
Alas, the patience afforded to older youngsters was not extended to Guendouzi, and an allowance for breaking Arteta’s ‘hard lines’ was given only to the likes of Willian.
For Guendouzi, there was no second chance.
La Provence write that Guendouzi ‘imagines himself staying in the Provence region for many seasons’.
Marseille can purchase the midfielder for a pathetic €11m, which is particularly galling when you remember he was valued at four times that when Arteta first arrived (more on that below).
In addition, Guendouzi’s younger brother, Milan, is also at Marseille, signing for their B team from GSI Pontivy on a free transfer in a summer that saw Les Phocéens sign an amazing 14 players for their first team.
Milan is a little over two years younger than Matteo and both came through the Lorient ranks.
Now a little older than Matteo was when he signed for Arsenal, it seems Milan’s career isn’t quite set for stratospheric rise of his big brother. Still, being together again is no doubt an extra draw for the pair.