Guendouzi’s future at Arsenal is still unclear despite Mikel Arteta leaving the door ajar to his possible return, which he may well consider given the midfielder’s performances in France
Arsenal outcast Matteo Guendouzi is seemingly a man reborn at Marseille.
The French midfielder is currently into his second loan spell away from the Emirates following his bitter fall out with Gunners boss Mikel Arteta.
And it appears he is all the better for it as he continues to thrive for the French club, who beat Lorient 4-1 on Sunday in their latest outing as Guendouzi bagged a brace himself.
Despite falling behind, Les Phoceens equalised through Boubacar Kamara to go in level at the break, before Guendouzi struck twice in the second half, along with Arkadiusz Milik, to seal all three points.
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The brace took Guendouzi’s overall goal contributions for his current side to four in nine league games this season (he had previously registered two assists).
According to Opta Jean , that is more than the 22-year-old managed in his previous 89 league appearances spanning three clubs – which include Sunday’s opponents Lorient, parent club Arsenal and his last loan employers Hertha Berlin.
Guendouzi got Marseille in front at the Stade Velodrome with a superb looping header after connecting with an out-swinging corner at the near post.
The match stayed at 2-1 until the closing stages, when Milik’s goal five minutes from time effectively sealed the win, before Guendouzi wrapped up the scoring in injury-time.
His second goal took a hefty deflection on the way in but it was no less than he deserved after a driving run into the box.
Guendouzi’s match-winning double comes after him being voted as Marseille’s player of the month for September.
He has only just returned from international duty with France, where he was involved in their Nations League winning squad, though didn’t get on the field in either of their fixtures.
But he admits that not featuring for his country may have had a positive effect on his performance for Marseille, enabling his lung-busting run in the dying minutes.
“I tried to stay clear at the end of the game, to keep the ball. I felt good,” he said after the match. “During the break with the Blues [France], I played very little so I kept the energy. I am very happy for myself and for the team.”
Arsenal fans were quick to react on Twitter, with some branding the decision to allow Guendouzi to go on loan a “mistake” and others pleaded with him to “come home”.
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One fan even suggested Guendouzi should be paired alongside Thomas Partey in the Gunners’ midfield.
Speaking about the youngster only last week, Arteta did not shut the door on a possible return.
“For right now, he’s [Guendouzi] gone for the season,” Arteta said. “I think he’s having a really good spell at Marseille, and it’s part of the plan we made with him.
“He’s continued with his development and we’ll make a decision at the end of the year.
“I think you cannot say that [if he’s played his final game for Arsenal] about a player that is owned by the club.”