Matteo Guendouzi wants to leave Arsenal on a permanent basis as he sees his “long term” future at Marseille, the club he is currently on loan at.
The 22-year-old joined the Ligue 1 giants on loan with an option to buy in the summer, having spent the 2020/21 campaign in the Bundesliga with Hertha BSC.
Guendouzi joined Arsenal in 2018 and quickly became a favourite of then head coach Unai Emery and the club’s supporters. He also played a significant role in Mikel Arteta’s first six months in charge after he replaced Emery as boss in late 2019.
But following a post-match altercation with Brighton striker Neal Maupay in June 2020, Guendouzi was exiled from Arsenal’s squad and was criticised for his poor attitude and general conduct. With his future in north London looking bleak, he joined Hertha – whom he made 24 appearances for – before moving on to Marseille at the beginning of this season.
A clause in Guendouzi’s loan contract gives Marseille an option to buy should certain conditions be met, and that appears to be what the young midfielder wants judging by comments he’s made to the press while away on international duty with France.
“Today, I am on loan and still bound by my contract at Arsenal. But I’m totally focused on what to do with Olympique de Marseille,” Guendouzi said. “And yes, it’s a club with which I want to project myself into the future and I want to join in the long term.
“These are discussions that I had already had with the club before signing and I feel very comfortable there. And that’s why I want to continue to have fun at Olympique de Marseille.”
Guendouzi’s comments are likely linked to a purple patch of form at the Stade Velodrome. He’s played in all 13 of the club’s Ligue 1 fixtures so far, scoring three times, and has also played in all four of the club’s Europa League group stage games.
Marseille sit fourth in Ligue 1, trailing Lens and Nice by just a point, and have the second-best defensive record in the division. Arteta’s Arsenal, meanwhile, are enjoying a resurgence of their own. They are fifth in the Premier League table after bouncing back from losing their opening three games of the season with 20 points from a possible 24 – a run that includes six wins and two draws.