Mikel Arteta speaks out after Matteo Guendouzi is dropped for Southampton vs Arsenal clash

Matteo Guendouzi of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on March 10, 2020 in St Albans, England.
Guendouzi was left out of Arsenal’s squad (Picture: Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Matteo Guendouzi was dropped for Arsenal’s clash with Southampton amid rumours about his future at the club, with Mikel Arteta suggesting there was an ‘internal issue’.

Arteta, the Arsenal manager, was said to have reacted angrily to Guendouzi’s behaviour during the Gunners’ 2-1 defeat at Brighton.

Reports claimed Guendouzi had called Brighton’s players ‘s**t’ and mocked the Seagulls’ squad for earning less than his £40,000-a-week deal, with Brighton goalscorer Neal Maupay suggesting he lacked ‘humility’ after they clashed at the end of the match.

Arteta was desperately unimpressed and has reportedly decided to sell the French midfielder – who has attracted interest from Real Madrid, Barcelona and Leicester – after growing tired of his attitude.

Although Guendouzi avoided a ban for grabbing Maupay’s throat, he was not a part of Arsenal’s 20-man squad for the Premier League tie with Southampton and Arteta was questioned on his absence.

‘Squad management. Whatever internal issue we have, we deal with it privately,’ the Arsenal manager said.

Mikel Arteta (L) embraces Arsenal's French midfielder Matteo Guendouzi (R) at the end of the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium in London on December 29, 2019.
Arteta dropped Guendouzi (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

‘The needs of the team and the needs of the football club are always the same, put the best players on the pitch that are 100% focused to win the game.’

Arteta made four changes with Guendouzi, Bernd Leno, Gabriel Martinelli and Alexandre Lacazette dropping out.

Kieran Tierney, Emiliano Martínez, Granit Xhaka and Eddie Nketiah all came into the side.

MORE: Kieran Tierney reveals how Arsenal players reacted to their dismal defeat at Brighton

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