After a year-long delay, we arrived where we all knew this was heading. Midfielder Matteo Guendouzi made his official full transfer to join Ligue 1’s Olympique Marseille for $12.5 million. A successful year on loan at the club cemented the plans to make the French club his permanent home. And with that Guendouzi completes a rapid life cycle at Arsenal in just four years - an unknown signing from Ligue 2 (2018), exciting young talent bringing fire to the midfield (2019), a quick falling out and a late loan to the German side Hertha BSC (2020), regrouping to find an appropriate destination and get back in form (Marseille in 2021), and now the final transfer (2022).
In his two seasons at Arsenal Guendouzi played in 82 matches, scoring once, and providing five assists. He was a fixture in the Premier League, played in the Europa League Final loss, but missed out on the Gunners FA Cup win in 2020 due to fitness. A clash with Mikel Arteta put Guendouzi on the outs and signaled his eventual exit. During his run at Arsenal, he was a regular with the French U21 National Team.
After helping Hertha survive the regulation battle, Matteo found a home in Marseille. Guendouzi featured 56 times for the French side last season, including five goals and 14 assists. They finished 2nd in Ligue 1, qualifying for next season’s UEFA Champions League, and nearly made the Europa League Final, falling 3-2 to Reiss Nelson’s Feyenoord.
His impressive run for Marseille didn’t go unnoticed by the national team. Months into the season he was back in the French senior camp and making his debut in a 2-0 win over Finland as part of World Cup qualification in late November. Guendouzi has picked up six caps, one goal, and one assist. The announcement from Arsenal, while expected, is best for all parties. Arsenal sees another name off the books (technically at a small profit), Marseille retains a key midfielder, and Guendouzi gets Champions League football and the chance to make France’s World Cup squad.