Arsenal’s former transfer chief, Sven Mislintat, has recently questioned Mikel Arteta’s decision to loan out Matteo Guendouzi.
Guendouzi was one of the shining lights under Unai Emery. He consistently played beyond his years and seemed to bring a much-needed injection of passion and fight within the Arsenal midfield.
However, circumstances changed dramatically during an away loss to Brighton where the Frenchman grabbed Brighton striker, Neil Maupay, by the throat and reportedly gloated over his larger salary. Although we are not privy to what goes on behind the scenes, it is a fair assumption that this was not the first of Guendouzi’s actions that did not sit well with Arteta as he eventually had enough and sent the midfielder on loan with German outfit Hertha Berlin, where he is now succeeding.
The Berlin coach described Guendouzi as a ‘rebel’ but has also lauded over his talent, which Mislintat also highlighted. This talent is unquestionable which is why Arsenal fans seem to be split on whether he should be in the current squad, but it is clear that Arteta has a zero tolerance approach to players resisting to conform to his ways. Another example of this is his treatment of Mesut Ozil.
Perhaps this is what Arsenal have needed. During Wenger’s final years it was glaringly obvious that some players were getting away with minimum effort and not absolute dedication to the cause. In many ways, this shows Arteta’s strength as a coach and sets a precedent to the team that everyone needs to be pulling in the same direction and the benefits of these types of decisions will be evident in the future.
Arguably the greatest coach of all time, Sir Alex Ferguson, adopted this method countless times with players showing an amazing wealth of talent but not complete professional application. Roy Keane and David Beckham being the best examples of immensely gifted players offloaded and no one could suggest that this did not work for him.
Hopefully, we can see a matured Guendouzi return to the team next season so that Arsenal can truly benefit from the ability he holds
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