Guen­douzi given Arse­nal fu­ture af­ter Arteta wipes the slate clean

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport - By Sam Dean

Mat­teo Guen­douzi has been given a clean slate at Arse­nal ahead of the new sea­son, with Mikel Arteta say­ing that the mid­fielder will have the same op­por­tu­ni­ties as any other player in the com­ing weeks.

Guen­douzi has been ex­cluded from the first team since Arse­nal’s de­feat at Brighton in June, which ended with the French­man grabbing op­po­si­tion striker Neal Mau­pay by the throat.

But Arteta has shown a way back, telling the 21-year-old he will be treated the same as any of his team­mates in the new sea­son, which starts for Arse­nal against Liver­pool in to­mor­row’s Com­mu­nity Shield.

Arteta’s com­ments sug­gest there could also be a fu­ture at the club for Me­sut Ozil, who did not play af­ter lock­down but has in­sisted he has no in­ten­tion of leav­ing.

“I have been clear that every­body starts from zero all the time in foot­ball,” Arteta said. “What you did two weeks ago or two years ago doesn’t re­ally mat­ter. It’s what you are able to con­trib­ute to the team now. Every­body is go­ing to have the same op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

Arteta said he had spo­ken di­rectly to Guen­douzi dur­ing the off-sea­son. Asked what he had told the French­man, he said: “To tell him that he is go­ing to be part of the team and at the mo­ment he is like any other player in our squad.”

Arse­nal are ea­ger to strengthen their mid­field and they re­main hope­ful of Dani Ce­bal­los re­turn­ing from Real Madrid on an­other sea­son-long loan.

“We have had some talks and Dani knows re­ally well what I think about him,” Arteta said. “He was pretty clear with me as well that his in­ten­tion was to re­main with us, but ob­vi­ously Real Madrid is in­volved and I don’t know yet what they want to do with the player.”

Arse­nal have not yet an­nounced the sign­ing of Brazil­ian de­fender Gabriel Ma­gal­haes from Lille, but con­fir­ma­tion is ex­pected soon.

They are also yet to con­firm that cap­tain Pierre-Em­er­ick Aubameyang has signed his new con­tract, al­though that, too, is ex­pected to be just a mat­ter of time. “I think he should be happy if he’s able to stay for a long time,” Arteta said.

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