Matteo Guendouzi has gone from future Arsenal captain material to training on his own, in just 18 months - how 'big-headed' ace can save his Gunners career

talksport.com, 7 July 2020, 15:29
Matteo Guendouzi has gone from future Arsenal captain material to training on his own, in just 18 months - how
Matteo Guendouzi's fall from grace at Arsenal could be considered a warning for any up-and-coming footballers, demonstrating exactly what NOT to do with the football world at your feet.

And the 21-year-old's fall is even more alarming when you consider he was tipped as a future Gunners captain not all that long ago, and now he's training on his own.

Joining the club in July 2018 from French second division side Lorient, not much was expected of the youngster when he arrived in north London, despite his £7million transfer free - comparatively high for a virtually unknown player.

But he impressed fans with his bustling performances in midfield, showing the kind of grit, determination and sheer energy the Gunners had been lacking in the middle of the park under Unai Emery.

It didn't take long for Arsenal supporters to take the young Frenchman under their wing, and he further cemented his fan-favourite status when he celebrated with Gooners after their north London derby victory back in December 2018.

Guendouzi was filmed shaking hands, bumping fists and hugging supporters from the wound-down window of car as he left the Emirates Stadium following Arsenal's 4-2 win over Tottenham.

Then, as his motor sped away, he leaned out of the window from the back seat to cheers wildly and pump his fist, prompting more celebrations from jubilant Gooners.

Mattéo Guendouzi in 2018 celebrating with fans after Arsenal's NLD victory. How things have changed 18 months later.

pic.twitter.com/nkT8nlbFXV

— Throwback Arsenal (@ThrowbackAFC) July 6, 2020

The clip hasn't aged well.

While it endeared him with Arsenal fans at the time, when the video was reposted on Twitter this week many have commented that it was an early sign of his lack of modesty.

Just 18 months later, the player is frozen out of the first team and, if reports are to be believed, on the verge of leaving the club, with Arteta unhappy with his poor attitude behind the scenes.

Guendouzi had been tipped for a big future in an Arsenal shirt.

When Granit Xhaka was struggling with the weight of the captain's armband, the youngster was remarkably discussed in the media as one of the contenders to replace him.

At his age, it seemed extreme, but there was little doubt at the time that the midfielder was heading that way. Club legend Ian Wright clearly rated him - he wasn't alone, of course - calling on fans to 'protect him at all costs' only in September 2019 after his superb display in Arsenal's 2-2 draw with Spurs.

That performance at 20 in the North London Derby

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