Arsenal: What’s happened to Matteo Guendouzi?

Arsenal, Matteo Guendouzi (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Arsenal, Matteo Guendouzi (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images) /

Matteo Guendouzi was an Arsenal regular, the centerpiece of the present and future. Now he hasn’t played in two weeks. What happened?

Arsenal‘s midfield was a damn-near masterclass against Bournemouth, so I feel bad to raise a question about it now, but it’s long overdue. Perhaps it’s a carry-over of Freddie Ljungberg, but whatever the case, starlet Matteo Guendouzi has completely disappeared and it’s concerning.

After starting nearly every single match for us this year and doing a fantastic job with it, Guendouzi was a bit of a mess against Manchester City (honestly, who wasn’t) and hasn’t seen the pitch since.

Some hypothesized that it was a matter of Freddie deciding that Guendouzi and Granit Xhaka could not coexist in the same midfield. They played too similar a role and it left the defense far too exposed. But that’s still a bit lacking in terms of how you let our most valuable player sit for two straight weeks through a busy fixture period.

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There’s a chance he sees the pitch against Chelsea today, but I don’t know how much I like those odds. The biggest factor in his favor is Granit Xhaka’s potential exit. If Xhaka already does have one foot out the door, then it’s Guendouzi’s job again.

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I don’t know about you, but it has been a constant case of Guendouzi being a sole bright spot in the darkness that the club has been fighting through. So it feels weird to have him so uninvolved as the corner is turned back to positivity.

He’s the guy who was supposed to be leading the effort into the new era, but he’s been completely ignored.

Again, I don’t want to come across as whining. That’s the last thing I want. I love how this midfield looked last time out and I know Mikel Arteta has a plan for all of this. He just needs time. I just found it more than a little bothersome that he had been so easily set aside when there was no injury and nothing else to contribute.

Honestly, if Xhaka is going to leave, best just get on with it and let Guendouzi take the role from here on out. I never was a fan of letting players resolved to leave continue to play. Who benefits there?

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Guendouzi will be back. I just wish that he didn’t have anything to come back from in the first place.