Deschamps attempts to lower Guendouzi expectation levels

Arsenal

France manager Didier Deschamps has warned Arsenal fans not to expect too much from Matteo Guendouzi so early in his career.

French midfielder Guendouzi arrived at the Emirates in July 2018 from Lorient for a fee believed to be worth around £7million and enjoyed a positive debut season for the Gunners, who finished fifth in the Premier League and lost in the Europa League final to Chelsea.

The 20-year-old featured 33 times in the league during his first English campaign, 23 of those were starts, and he has begun the 2019/20 campaign in impressive fashion, having started all four games and missed just four minutes of football.

Guendouzi played a key role in the 2-2 draw against rivals Tottenham Hotspur before the international break, clipping a delightful ball into the box to which Gabon international Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang provided the finishing touch.

Initially, the talented midfielder was overlooked for Les Bleus’ squad for their crucial Euro 2020 qualifiers. However, an injury to Manchester United star Paul Pogba resulted in the Arsenal maestro being handed his first call-up to the senior side, having played nine times for the Under-21s.

Having seen Guendouzi in action during training, France boss Deschamps, who led his country to World Cup glory in Russia last year, says he has been thoroughly impressed with what he has seen although he did have a word of caution for expectant Arsenal supporters.

“Do not ask too much,” he was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail. “He’s a young player, who is still the Espoirs generation, who plays a lot of matches where there is strong competition.”

Guendouzi will be back in domestic action when Arsenal make the trip to Vicarage Road on Sunday to take on Watford, who recently made the decision to sack Javi Gracia and replace him with former manager Quique Sanchez Flores.

The Gunners, who have secured seven points from four games, have won the last three meetings against the Hornets, racking up 3-0, 2-0 and 1-0 victories.

Latest