When one of the finest midfielders of the Premier League era sends praise your way, you know you’re doing the business.
Cesc Fabregas knows exactly what it takes to make the grade at Arsenal and understands the pressures that comes with wearing the Gunners shirt.
“Gotta love Guendouzi,” the Spaniard tweeted to his 10million Twitter followers as Arsenal took on Manchester United on Monday night.
While Matteo Guendouzi’s display won’t make as many headlines as Fabregas throwing pizza at Sir Alex Ferguson during that Old Trafford clash in 2004, the young Frenchman certainly caught the eye.
The standard on display was not befitting of past United v Arsenal duels it has been widely said, but Guendouzi was a rare bright spot and deserved the shoutout.
Having only turned 20 in April, he is perhaps the Gunners’ most dependable player.
Possessing battling qualities this faltering Arsenal side so badly need, he doesn’t shy away from a challenge and doesn’t hide from the ball.
Guendouzi has started every game for Unai Emery’s side this season, showing more consistency than his apparent superiors Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil.
His arms and hair wave crazily as he marauds across the pitch, cajoling and instructing his teammates from the centre of the pitch.
Always showing when others are missing, hands out for the ball during his mission to find space, he is always an option for his teammates and, though so young, he is making them tick. Playing with a smile on his face, his tough tackling and purposeful passing is good on the eye.
He is a larger than life character, and boy could Arsenal do with more Guendouzis in the dressing room!
Though they clearly possess quality, things aren’t adding up as a team and Gunners fans will be surprised current performances have yielded an early entrance into fourth place in the Premier League table.
Guendouzi, though, is a player Arsenal fans can believe in. As energetic as Emmanuel Petit, he embodies the previous French spirit of Arsenal’s double-winning side under Arsene Wenger.
Not yet at the quality level of Petit, and more combative than laid-back and skilful, he is there during the ‘difficult moments’ as Fabregas points out, even when not playing so great.
Guendouzi arrived to little fanfare in the summer of 2018, a smart capture from Lorient, but has made 55 appearances for the north London club already.
Emery needs players he can rely on and Guendouzi is, at present, one of the first names on the team sheet.
Fans may be yearning for the past after Monday’s dismal clash with rivals United, but they have reason to be optimistic about Guendouzi’s future in the Arsenal midfield.