Guendouzi given Arsenal future after Arteta wipes the slate clean
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.