Unai Emery praises Guendouzi after strong display in North London derby

Matteo Guendouzi arguably had his best performance in an Arsenal shirt at the weekend during a 2-2 draw in the North London derby against Tottenham Hotspur. 

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Guendouzi puts in his best performance in an Arsenal shirt

Starting in every game so far this season, the 20-year-old has been an instrumental cog in the club’s midfield, showing continued improvement since he arrived at the club. 

Indeed, Sunday’s performance represented his finest display in a Red shirt; offering defensive resilience ahead of a shaky back-four while showcasing creativity and dynamism in the final third.

It was his incisive ball that found Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after a darting run inside the box, bringing the game back to 2-2; an exquisite piece of vision that underlined his ability to mould into an all-round midfielder. From then, his quick thinking and confidence in possession ensured Arsenal maintained the ascendency.

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Emery outlines Guendouzi’s path of development

Reflecting on the weekend’s events, Unai Emery spoke about Guendouzi’s present development and his potential. “He’s very young but he’s progressing”, said the Arsenal manager to the official website“Last year was amazing for his progress, taking confidence, taking rhythm and knowing the Premier League.”

“This year he’s starting to give us one step more tactically with the ball. He gives us a lot of control and also the combination for us mean he’s very important in the team. He’s one of the key players to do that.”

“He’s working to get a balance defensively and also working on his body to get stronger in the situations needed in the Premier League. It was one step more but he’s very demanding of himself and we’re progressing with him.”

“When he’s playing like [this], I prefer to have the balance. When he’s playing maybe a match with less performance, I want to help him to achieve the next step going ahead.”

A mark of his performance, Guendouzi was handed his first France call-up as a replacement for Manchester United’s Paul Pogba, who was ruled out of their upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers through injury.

Emery will hope that he is able to kick-on from his performance against Spurs and have a big impact in the games ahead to stem what has been a jittery start to the season for The Gunners.