In Sports by Oluwaseun Samuel on the 10th, December, 2018

Arsenal: Matteo Guendouzi can revive an old Wenger-ism

Arsenal are getting more than their money’s worth for Matteo Guendouzi, such that everything that had failed these past few years can be repaired.
Sven Mislintat made an excellent point about Matteo Guendouzi‘s signing in his recent statements about why he chose him, above all else, to join Arsenal. His point was that, among other things, it brought the old Arsenal back. This belief in youth, in finding players where few have looked.

Thus far, it’s clear that Guendouzi is on that path. At just 19-years-old, he has proven to be a perennial first-team contender, ready to fill in in a pinch, and while his performances aren’t always works of art, there is so much time to grow that it isn’t even worth it to complain about his flaws. These are the kinds of flaws that go away.

Mislintat pointed that out too. He said that Guendouzi rushes about the pitch without a real purpose in mind, and that this will fade away as he grows in intelligence and in maturity. That all checks out.

What this really amounts to, though, is a return to the Wenger ways. Not just in discovering players where you wouldn’t ordinary look, but also in developing them to be worthwhile additions, and not just novelties.

Wenger used to be a champ at that. Before rival teams bothered scouting in these lesser-known locales, outside of the hotbed of English talent, Wenger showed just how adept he was at plucking talent from seemingly nowhere.

But the true brilliance came in the development of them. In the later years, Wenger struggled in both regards, and no one showed that more poignantly than Yaya Sanogo, this supposed solution to the striker crisis, who ended up being referred to as “Bambi on ice” throughout his stay at the Emirates. he completed his blaze of glory by scoring a hat trick while on loan and then elbowing an opponent in the face.

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Matteo Guendouzi is Emery’s first chance to repair the image of unknown players coming, failing, and going back to unknown. Because Guendouzi was unknown. Yet here he is, making headway. All he needs to do is complete the circuit and actually improve, actually get better and iron out what Mislintat has acknowledged as the lad’s faults, and then we can leave another speckled history behind us.

Guendouzi is a big deal. For more ways than one. And thankfully, he seems 100% up to the lot that’s been handed to him.

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