Friday, August 12, 2022

Marseille Closing In On Double Swoop For Arsenal Stars: Good Riddance For The Gunners?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

According to Fabrizio Romano, Marseille are closing in on Matteo Guendouzi. The Arsenal midfielder hopes to complete the switch to France within the next few days, with his fellow teammate William Saliba also set for an OM switch. Guendouzi appears to be eyeing a permanent exit from Emirates whereas Saliba might only join the French club on a loan deal.

Matteo Guendouzi: The Unlikely Outcast

When Matteo Guendouzi finished the 2019/20 season with Unai Emery, a host of experts expected him to become the new asset for Arsenal in the middle of the park. However, a poor start to the season, coupled with a row with new manager Mikel Arteta saw him being shipped out to Hertha Berlin on a season-long loan deal.

Guendouzi fared rather well in the Bundesliga, emerging as one of the few bright sparks in an otherwise dire campaign for Hertha. But as the midfielder braces himself for a return to Emirates, he has found himself to be a part of Arteta’s chopping blocks, as the Spaniard looks to ruthlessly undergo a squad overhaul following a disastrous 2020/21 campaign.

From a sporting perspective, Guendouzi’s departure does not make too much sense. He has the potential to become a true asset in midfield, especially if he can work on his temperament. The Gunners themselves also lack depth in the middle of the park, with Lucas Torreira, Granit Xhaka, Mohamed Elneny all facing an uncertain future at the club.

As for the player, a move to Marseille might earn him an opportunity to revive his career. He is already quite familiar with Ligue 1 while his aggressive style of play is tailor-made for a coach like Jorge Sampaoli.

Marseille are closing in on Matteo Guendouzi - The Frenchman has been unlucky.
Matteo Guendouzi Hertha BSC Berlin, FSV Mainz 05 vs Hertha BSC Berlin, Fussball, 1. Bundesliga, 03.05.2021 FSV Mainz 05 vs Hertha BSC Berlin, Fussball, 1. Bundesliga, 03.05.2021 *** Matteo Guendouzi Hertha BSC Berlin , FSV Mainz 05 vs Hertha BSC Berlin, Football, 1 Bundesliga, 03 05 2021 FSV Mainz 05 vs Hertha BSC Berlin, Football, 1 Bundesliga, 03 05 2021 Copyright: xNeisx/Eibner-Pressefotox EP_ans

William Saliba: The Unloaded Gunner

William Saliba’s Arsenal career has been nothing short of disappointing. He was initially snapped up by Unai Emery in 2019, but the defender had to remain on loan at St. Etienne for the entirety of the campaign.

Unfortunately for the player, he returned to Emirates in 2020 when new coach Arteta was already giving his plans shape. Already stacked in the defensive unit, and with failure to offload fringe players like Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi, Saliba ended up failing to make a single appearance for the club, before joining OGC Nice on loan in January of this year.

This summer, Saliba has found it even more difficult to get into the first-team as Arteta is intent on adding more quality in the defensive unit. Unlike Guendouzi, however, the Frenchman is not leaving the club permanently, but rather on a season-long loan deal.

It is perhaps a wise move from Arsenal, knowing the youngster will not receive too many first-team opportunities next season.

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