Arsenal has to nitpick positives from their two matches since resuming, but Matteo Guendouzi is not nitpicked, and the positives keep coming.
It sucks to get your hopes up for the return to action, to believe that Arsenal is on the right path and ready to get back into the race for a European spot, and for them to fall flat on their faces, but hey, has anyone been watching Matteo Guendouzi?
In my state of eternal optimism, I have gravitated towards Guendouzi as the beacon of hope that the club is lacking elsewhere, and it feels a hell of a lot like when he first arrived and the beacon of hope that he was then.
When he first arrived, he was faced off against City and Chelsea in his first two Premier League matches and he was one of the only components that didn’t fail. It’s much the same now with City and Brighton.
But it’s not just what’s on the pitch that’s working. It’s not just the line-breaking passes, the tremendous forward movement, the incredible athleticism, and the all-action mentality.
The fact that he’s back out on the pitch playing this well again means that he must have broken through off the pitch as well. It was no secret that he’d had a falling out with Mikel Arteta and as a young man, there is a good deal of maturity necessary to get through that and get back to business as usual.
Keep in mind he’s only 21-years-old. Professional athlete or no, that’s a time in life where maturity is still developing, and it’s incredibly promising that he was able to put all that behind him and show no residual effects on the pitch.
It’s just another thing he’s doing right. He’s growing and maturing off the pitch to make his performance on the pitch possible. Don’t take that for granted. Every time he shows improvements on the pitch, you have to think about the growth he’s going through off the pitch as well.
Guendouzi has always been highly regarded as one of the top talents in the world, but the fact that he’s come back even better than before means only good things for what’s to come.
And as I always say, if there is anyone that can unseat Granit Xhaka, it’s Matteo Guendouzi and only Matteo Guendouzi. He’s showing a lot of Xhaka-esque improvements across the board.