Plenty of Arsenal’s best young talents have received a lot of praise this season for the way they have been able to take their opportunities and bring so much needed creativity and energy to the side. However, perhaps one of our best youngsters is still being forgotten about out on loan in exile. Guendouzi has also been playing extremely well for Hertha. He acts as a real metronome at times for them and is even able to be deployed high up the pitch, getting involved in a lot of their final third actions. After his antic post-lockdown (well post-lockdown v.1 I should say) he was taken out of the side, falling out of favour with Mikel Arteta. I have always thought that this decision was less of a footballing one and more on regarding his attitude.
On the pitch, he clearly has a tendency to get mouthy and wind players up. While this isn’t the most sportsmanlike approach, it is a trait that you could argue needs to be encouraged, not seen as a cause for retribution. I remember Diego Costa winning Chelsea games against Arsenal for simply getting our defenders wound up.
However, it is clearly not just his attitude we have missed. His directness and creativity of passing has been sorely missed too, with the Gunners notoriously struggling to be anywhere near their usual standards of chance creation. German newspaper Bild have suggested the Gunners may recall him early to try and reintegrate him into the squad before his contract expires in summer 2022.
For me, this is brilliant news. I think by now Guendouzi has learned his lesson. Furthermore, I think his directness and expressiveness will be even more visible and valuable with a brick wall like Thomas Partey beside him. However, there is a potential downside here. I fear that Arteta is only considering this option, out of a fear that he may struggle to secure deals for many of his main transfer targets. If we cannot bring someone like Buendia, Sabitzer or Brandt in, Arteta may well be forced to bring Guendouzi back.
Photo Credit: Amir Hosseini