Fresh off of his Man of the Match performance for Arsenal in Sunday’s North London Derby, Matteo Guendouzi’s excellent weekend got a little more exciting when he received an unexpected call-up from France’s first team.
Congratulations Mattéo Guendouzi. The Frenchman has been called up to the french national senior team. pic.twitter.com/AdriwEkyJB— TheAFCnewsroom (@TheAFCnewsroom) September 2, 2019
While it’s a little premature to call the curly-haired midfielder’s rise “meteoric,” a little perspective helps understand how fast Matteo’s career has taken off since joining Arsenal just one year ago:
Last year, Matteo Guendouzi was playing in Ligue 2 with Lorient— Goal (@goal) September 2, 2019
This week, he could make his senior international debut for France
He’s still just 20 years old pic.twitter.com/cFYti36eD0
A little further perspective helps explain the serendipity of his call-up, as he is capitalizing on an untimely injury to France stalwart Paul Pogba. Now, that is not to say that Guendouzi isn’t deserving of the honor - he has already represented France at the youth levels for many years - but his reputation as a relentless presser and poised possessor has finally gotten the attention of the France senior squad.
Although the Premier League season is only four matches in, it has become increasingly apparent that Guendouzi has grown tremendously since first debuting for Arsenal last season. He has been pivotal in Unai Emery’s midfield this season, starting in each of the Gunners’ first four matches. Considering the depth of Arsenal’s midfield, it speaks volumes about his ability and Emery’s faith in him in the squad.
With two Euro qualifiers slated for France against Albania and Andorra, there is no guarantee that he will get any meaningful match time. But Guendouzi is going to have ample opportunity to get in the sort of training that a player with his promise will benefit from. France’s team is deep and talented - so deep that apparently Alexandre Lacazette can't even get a sniff - but that just goes to show how far Arsenal’s hirsute midfielder has come. Now he has a great chance to test himself at a different, and potentially more impacting, level.