Despite the questions around Matteo Guendouzi’s attitude in the past, his current manager at Marseille insists he’s a mature person.
There’s rarely been much of a question around Matteo Guendouzi’s talent, but his previous spells with Arsenal and Lorient have raised concerns about his mentality.
According to loan boss Jorge Sampaoli at Marseille, Guendouzi is dispelling those concerns.
“Aside from his youth, Matteo has a particular energy,” Sampaoli said. “He has a desire to win and he’s a natural leader. We imagined that would be the case but that it would happen over time.
“Seeing this in addition to his performances, we have an energy that everyone can envy. It’s contagious and it’s a very important value in life.
“Experience is important for everyone but, for young people, sometimes difficult events are not good experiences. There’s also personal capacity on the mental side.
“Guendouzi, for example, he’s 22-years-old but he acts like he’s 30. The most important thing is maturity.”
Marseille are in a difficult situation as a club at the moment, with a possible transfer ban potentially affecting the futures of a few Arsenal players – Guendouzi included.
L’Equipe (via GFFN) report that Marseille have received a two-window transfer ban in relation to the signing of Pape Gueye in 2020.
The midfielder signed a contract with Watford, but he joined Marseille anyway, and both player and club have now been punished for that.
Gueye has received a four-month suspension from playing, and Marseille have to pay Watford €2.5m as well as their transfer ban.
Both clubs are taking the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Marseille are hoping to turn the ban into a suspended sentence, whilst Watford want closer to €10m than €2.5m.
If the ban stands, there are three Arsenal players that could affect: William Saliba, Guendouzi, and Sead Kolasinac.
Saliba and Guendouzi are both on loan with Marseille, and that wouldn’t change. But it complicates a permanent transfer for either of them in the summer.
Guendouzi would likely be fine as his deal already contains an obligation to buy at the end of the season. But if Saliba wants to stay at Marseille permanently, they’d probably need to rush a deal through this month.
Kolasinac has also been linked with a move to Marseille in the January transfer window. The ban doesn’t come into effect until the summer, so it wouldn’t prevent Kolasinac’s move, but it may well have an impact on the buying club’s strategy.
Suddenly they need to use January to do their summer business, and it’s hard to say how that will change their views on signing Kolasinac.
Regardless, the news will have created a lot of uncertainty for the Arsenal trio.