Update On Barcelona’s Pursuit Of This Arsenal Midfielder: Should The Catalans Get Him On Board?

Update on Barcelona's pursuit of Matteo Guendouzi who is seen in the photo
Arsenal's French midfielder Matteo Guendouzi heads the ball during the UEFA Europa League round of 32 first leg football match between FC BATE Borisov and Arsenal FC in Borisov outside Minsk on February 14, 2019. (Photo by SERGEI GAPON/AFP/Getty Images)

In a recent report, the Times (subscription required) provided an update on Barcelona‘s pursuit of Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi this summer. The same source has also revealed that the Gunners have slapped a £40m price-tag on the French midfielder amid recent interest from the Catalans as well as Juventus ahead of a potential move during the summer transfer period.

Guendouzi’s Season Of Mixed Emotions At The Emirates Stadium

Guendouzi has endured an up and down season at North London after missing out on several games over the past 12 months due to an Achilles tendon problem. The French workhorse had featured in 34 matches for the London giants in the previous campaign, picking up three assists and eight yellow cards across all competitions.

The 21-year-old has found some consistency with his all-around contributions in midfield as evident from his average of 1.3 tackles, 1.2 interceptions, 1.4 clearances, 0.5 shots, 0.5 key passes and 1.0 dribbles per game in the Premier League last season. He has also been quite tidy with his ball-distribution after completing 88.4% of his attempted passes in league football (stats via whoscored).

The Poissy-born talent has played for France at various youth levels but is yet to make a senior appearance for Didier Deschamps’ French national team. Maybe a summer switch to the Nou Camp could offer him the platform to prove his worth at the highest level so that he can get a few caps under his belt for Les Bleus in the years to come.

Update on Barcelona's pursuit of Matteo Guendouzi who is in action in the picture
Arsenal’s French midfielder Matteo Guendouzi reacts as he stands in front of a screen showing Manchester City fans celebrating after Manchester City’s English midfielder Raheem Sterling scored the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north-west England, on June 17, 2020. – The Premier League makes its eagerly anticipated return today after 100 days in lockdown but behind closed doors due to coronavirus restrictions. (Photo by LAURENCE GRIFFITHS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

What Will The French Midfield Ace Bring To The Table?

Guendouzi is a hard-working midfielder, who has learnt to do a bit of everything at the centre of the park over the past couple of seasons. He has grown into a responsible player at Arsenal and has done well to contribute by making a few crucial interceptions and last-gasp clearances for his side. The French youngster has also been quite neat with his passing and possesses the work-ethic to pull off some driving runs in the opposition half.

Should Setien Get Guendouzi On Board This Summer?

Guendouzi’s recent struggles with injury have hampered his progress at the Emirates Stadium making him a risky acquisition for the Catalans ahead of the new season. At the same time, the French starlet will not only add more stability and variety to Quique Setien’s midfield but also improve the overall depth of his squad.

Furthermore, Guendouzi could even provide some healthy competition for the likes of Riqui Puig, Arturo Vidal, Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic in the race to secure a midfield place alongside Frenkie de Jong and Miralem Pjanić next season. All in all, it makes sense for Barca to get Guendouzi on board, but only if he is available for a far reduced price than what the Gunners are demanding at the moment. Otherwise, Setien should consider moving in for some of his other targets in this off-season.

A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.