Former Gunners exciting midfielder revealed what happened between him and Arteta that led to premature Emirates exit –
Matteo Guendouzi has revealed his relationship with Mikel Arteta and the real reason for his departure from Arsenal.
The midfielder left Marseille for good this summer, having spent time on loan at the Ligue 1 club and Bundesliga side Hertha.
The 23-year-old was banned by Arteta from the Arsenal team in June 2020 after his infamous spat with Brighton’s Neal Maupay.
‘The journalists used this as an excuse to say that we had a bad relationship and that’s why I stopped playing and left Arsenal (the Maupay incident),’ Guendouzi told BeIN Sports.
It’s not that. It’s a gesture like many others on the pitch. Sometimes there is a lot of tension, a lot of problems on the pitch. In any case, it has nothing to do with ‘all that’.
On his time under Arteta, the former player added: “It’s true that I didn’t have the best relationship with him. But beyond that, I always tried to work, I always gave my best in training and in matches. I still played a few games with him, I still did great performances.
He preferred other players and I respect that decision. That’s why, afterwards, I also decided to leave because I was still young, I needed playing time to continue to progress. The most important thing when you are young is to play.
Much was expected of the Frenchman in England after his £8m move to the Gunners in 2018.
Unai Emery relied on him for more than 50 games for his dynamism, directness and connection with the fans, and the midfielder reached full fitness early in his second season.
He was dazzling in home games against Tottenham and Aston Villa in the final months of Emery’s tenure, delivering quality assists and providing a spark in a poor performance.
But Emery’s sacking at the end of November 2019 has set the stage for Guendouzi’s decline at the club.
Mikel Arteta came in and gave the Frenchman a chance, a chance that was gone at the end of a campaign in which he started brilliantly.
The Frenchman started Arsenal’s first two games after the coronavirus break – defeats to Manchester City and Brighton – and that was the last time Gunners fans saw him in red and white.
Indeed, Guendouzi’s last singular moment at Arsenal was when he hit Brighton striker Neal Maupay at the final whistle in a game in which the Seagulls player injured Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno in an aerial challenge before scoring the winner in stoppage time.
Arteta immediately sidelined the young midfielder and, while the Arsenal boss refused to elaborate on the reasons for his dismissal, it is clear that attitude and discipline were at the heart of the dispute.
Since leaving Arsenal, Guendouzi’s career has gone from strength to strength and he is now a candidate to be part of the French squad for the next World Cup.