Arsenal legend Emmanuel Petit has given some blunt advice to young midfielder Matteo Guendouzi after his struggles at the Emirates Stadium.
The 21-year-old initially looked a bright prospect when he joined Arsenal back in 2018, but he ended up falling out of favour with Mikel Arteta before being loaned out to Hertha Berlin this season.
Guendouzi has shown some flashes of his quality in his time in the Bundesliga, but Petit remains unconvinced he has the personality to get back into Arteta’s plans after a number of blow-ups in his time at Arsenal.
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Petit acknowledges that Guendouzi appears to have a bit of a temper, and he’s advised his fellow Frenchman to stop mouthing off so much until he’s achieved more in the game.
Petit, speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes at its launch of the 5-A-Side Bet on Crystal Palace v Chelsea, said: “I think things happened too quickly for Matteo Guendouzi at a time where he wasn’t strong enough mentally.
“He has a volcanic personality. He was called up to the French national team after a good run in the Arsenal team, but I didn’t see him have a very good game in that spell. He did OK in games, but as soon as he went to the national team, he changed on the pitch.
“He’s had arguments with referees, opponents, sometimes his own teammates, and I think this is something he has to control. If you want to reach the highest level and stay there, you have to control your emotions. He needs to realise this and adapt very quickly because I think he still has qualities and can bring something to Arsenal.
“When you can’t control your emotions, it’s very hard for your teammates to work with you, it’s hard for your fans to back you and it’s hard to keep out of the press limelight. But most importantly it’s hard for your manager to pick you. I remember he had a fight with Mikel Arteta and after that we didn’t see him again in an Arsenal shirt.
“You need to keep it in mind that at the end of the day you are just a player. Until you are the best player in the world, which you are not, you shut your mouth and keep working hard and respecting others.
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“Is there a future there for him at Arsenal? It’s not too dissimilar to the situation with Granit Xhaka a few years ago when he threw his shirt on the floor and fans turned against him. We thought his career at Arsenal was over but after a while he worked his way back into the team and fans forgave him. And he’s done well since he returned.
“You have the right to make mistakes, especially when you’re young. But that means you also have the right to a second chance, but you then have the obligation to learn from your mistakes. I wouldn’t mind seeing him back at Arsenal but I don’t think Arteta wants him back, and that’s the main problem.”
Arsenal fans will surely agree with Petit here, as Guendouzi has undoubtedly let himself down on too many occasions, with a permanent exit now surely the best thing for all involved.