Arsenal loanee Matteo Guendouzi has opened up about his clash with Brighton’s Neal Maupay last season, which was the beginning of the end of his first-team chances at Arsenal, for the time being at least.
Guendouzi joined Hertha Berlin on loan back in October 2020 after it was reported Mikel Arteta had concerns regarding the player’s ‘attitude and general conduct’.
After a very promising start to his Arsenal career, during which he established himself as a first-team regular under Unai Emery, the Frenchman was infamously involved in a heated exchange with Brighton‘s Maupay last June.
Following that, he was snubbed by his boss and ordered to train away from the first team, before eventually being sent to the Bundesliga outfit.
Speaking to France Football (as quoted by GFFN), Guendouzi discussed the incident that was seemingly the final straw for Mikel Arteta.
“It was a gesture that I should have maybe not done,” he said. “It might have shocked a few people, yes, but you know, in the Champions League or in a local/amateur matches, during the games, there is always a lot of frustration.
“We always want to win. And, during bad results, or injustices or things said on the pitch that you sometimes don’t like, you can, sometimes, have bad reactions. There are things like that, five or six times per match. It is not malicious.”
The France Under-21 added: “There was not a problem with the FA, I was never suspended. It is always in the obsession around winning, to help your team.
“I [will] give you an example: during a match vs Chelsea, Aubameyang missed a chance after a magnificent pass that I did. I got annoyed. I slapped my hands on the turf. He saw the video, he laughed. I am 100%, in football, in life, I often say things, I show myself a lot. That is part of who I am.”
While the player showed some regret for the incident that occurred at the Amex Stadium, he made no apologies for his obsession with winning and put it down to his passionate nature.
Guendouzi will not remain with Hertha Berlin beyond this summer as things stand, and is due to return to Arsenal. However, with his current contract due to expire in June 2022, it remains to be seen whether he will be given the chance to prove his worth to Mikel Arteta or be sold before he is able to leave for free.
The talent is certainly there and if he were to fail to fulfil his potential due to his questionable conduct at times, that would be a real shame.
Mikel Arteta has worked extremely hard behind the scenes to move on those with questionable attitudes since his arrival and so he has a decision to make with regards to the former Lorient midfielder come the summer.