Not much fuss was made when Matteo Guendouzi completed his move from Lorient to Arsenal last summer. There was much more to catch the eye as the Gunners finally moved on from the Arsene Wenger age, with Unai Emery taking the Frenchman’s place at the Emirates Stadium.
With the benefit of hindsight, though, the arrival of Guendouzi at the club was one of the most significant moments of last summer for Arsenal. The teenager has gone on to become a first team figure for the Gunners in his first season in the Premier League. He isn’t just one for the future, as was presumed when the signing was first made, he’s one for the present.
Guendouzi has been so impressive that he is now, reportedly, attracting attention from Paris Saint-Germain. The French champions are looking for a central midfielder having failed to sign Idrissa Gueye in the January window and are now believed to be preparing a £50 million offer for the 19-year-old. Arsenal have a decision to make.
Signed for just £7 million, the Gunners could make a profit of over £40 million in just one year by selling to PSG. Given the transfer strategy that is now in place at the Emirates Stadium, this would be considered a real success of the new policy. It would be something to point to as a sign of its effectiveness.
But do Arsenal really want to position themselves a selling club? Selling Guendouzi might be good for the bank balance, but what would it say about their ambition as a club if the French teenager leaves the Emirates Stadium after just one season?
“Let’s be honest, apart from the players here who follow a bit of the French leagues, no-one had ever heard of me,” Guendouzi said in a recent interview, looking back at the impact he has made in England. “So it was very important for me to show what I was capable of as early as possible.”
That’s exactly what he has done. In a season that has quickly fallen away, Guendouzi’s emergence has been a highlight for Arsenal. He is one player Emery can count upon to be build upon for the future. A big from PSG could change that, though. It would be a crossroads moment for the Gunners.
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