Matteo Guendouzi picks out two ‘super’ players who could beat him to 2019 Golden Boy award

Arsenal's Matteo Guendouzi has been nominated for the prestigious Golden Boy award
Arsenal’s Matteo Guendouzi has been nominated for the prestigious Golden Boy award (Picture: Getty)

Matteo Guendouzi insists his nomination for the prestigious 2019 Golden Boy award if fully justified.

The former Lorient midfielder’s development has represented one of the more positive aspects of Unai Emery’s troubled tenure.

Guendouzi was signed for just £7million on the recommendation of Arsenal’s former head of recruitment, Sven Mislintat, and the 20-year-old almost immediately cemented a place in the first team, despite being a virtual unknown when he arrived.

The combative midfielder was rewarded for his performances this season with a first call-up to the senior France international squad and was unused substitute in last month’s matches against Albania and Andorra.

Golden Boy Award | 2019 Nominees

Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus, Holland)
Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich, Canada),
Gianluigi Donnarumma (Milan, Italy)
Ansu Fati (Barcelona, Spain)
Phil Foden (Man City, England)
Matteo Guendouzi (Arsenal, France)
Erling Haaland (RB Salzburg, Norway)
Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany)
Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid, Portugal)
Dejan Joveljic (Eintracht Frankfurt, Serbia)
Moise Kean (Everton, Italy)
Kang-in Lee (Valencia, South Korea)
Andrij Oleksijovyc (Valladolid, Ukraine)
Danyell Malen (PSV Eindhoven, Netherlands)
Mason Mount (Chelsea, England)
Rodrygo (Real Madrid, Brazil)
Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund, England)
Ferran Torres (Valencia, Spain)
Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid, Brazil)
Nicolo Zaniolo (Roma, Italy)

Guendouzi is up against significant competition if he is to end his breakthrough year with an individual award and identified Matthijs De Ligt and Joao Felix as possible threats.

De Ligt joined Juventus in the summer after playing a prominent role in Ajax’s European and domestic success last season, while Portuguese sensation Felix signed for Atletico Madrid from Benfica in the summer for an eye-watering £113m.

‘It shows that I’ve been working hard at Arsenal and have also done well at international level,’ Guendouzi told Arsenal Player.

‘I think it’s a reward for all the hard work that I’ve done at the club and the good displays I’ve produced, but it also reflects my progress in training and how much I’ve come on as a player here.

‘It’s a reward for all my hard work and I’m hugely proud to be part of the 20 players under the age of 21 who’ve been nominated for the Golden Boy award – it’s fantastic.

‘There are some super players [nominated]. We know there are players like [Matthijs] De Ligt, the Juve defender, and Joao Felix, the Atletico forward.

‘There are fantastic players everywhere and it’s a wonderful award for whoever ends up winning it.’

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