When Unai Emery signed Matteo Guendouzi in July, everyone assumed that the 19 year old midfielder was one for the future. It seemed like the logical move would be to loan him for a season and get him up to speed with how the English game works, while getting him regular playing time in a less pressure-filled environment than a team like Arsenal, with its new coach and new players and new everything and same old expectations, could provide.
I guess we should have taken Emery at his word when he said Guendouzi was an important part of his first team plans, though - the kid pretty much tore up preseason, and once the season started, he looked less like a 19 year old who had never played under a bright spotlight before than an assured professional who belonged where he was. Granted, he has made a few mistakes along the way, as 19 year olds will do, but overall, he’s been a pretty solid addition to the midfield, and one who will get better the more he plays.
It’s in recognition of that fast start that Guendouzi was named Arsenal’s Player Of The Month for August, by arsenal dot com readers. It’s a well-deserved, if somewhat minimal, honor - I mean, what exactly IS that award? Does it come with the closest parking spot to the door, or first-in-line-at-the-cafeteria privileges? Maybe it exempts him from having to put the cones out at training, or from other “you’re the youngest rookie” type duties? I don’t know, but either way, it’s a nice bit of recognition for a kid whose career at Arsenal is starting out better than I think any of us had thought it would.