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Matteo Guendouzi set for Marseille loan with obligation to buy

As we expected, the French midfielder’s days at Arsenal are done.

1. FC Union Berlin v Hertha BSC - Bundesliga Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images

Arsenal will loan Matteo Guendouzi to Olympique Marseille this season with an obligation to buy next summer, according to Charles Watts as first reported by @MohamedTERParis. The deal is expected to net Arsenal around £10m, which is significantly less than the £25m he was estimated to be worth at his peak value, but more than the £7m the Gunners reportedly paid to acquire him in July 2018.

As we all know, Guendouzi’s time in North London has been tumultuous, with numerous discipline issues, which was his reputation when he moved from Lorient. He’s clashed with teammates, with Mikel Arteta, and even with the Arsenal board. His reported refusal to apologize for his actions in the fracas with Neal Maupay during Project Restart was seemingly the straw that broke the camel’s back.

The Guendouzi saga is a disappointing one, mostly because he’s a promising player that can’t seem to get his head straight. He was a problem at Lorient, a problem at Arsenal, and even chaffed people on loan at Hertha Berlin. Now, he’s Marseille’s problem. I’d been holding out hope that he might grow up and mend fences at Arsenal, but realistically, that wasn’t going to happen.

I have no problem with Arsenal washing their hands of him. You’ve got to be a Neymar-level talent for a team to tolerate the type of shenanigans Guendouzi consistently pulled, and Matteo Guendouzi is no Neymar-level talent. It’s clear that Mikel Arteta wants to run a tight ship at the Emirates, and if players don’t want to get on board, they’ve got to go. That’s not a comment on whether Arteta’s regime / system is necessarily always and completely correct, but if that’s how he wants to run things, there was no other outcome for Guendouzi short of the player getting with the program.

I don’t think the move has any impact on the plans for the setup at Arsenal other than putting a bit of cash in the transfer chest next summer. And so we move on. Au revoir, Matteo. Hope you figure out how to be a better professional.