Matteo Guendouzi reveals ‘hurt’ over Arsenal exit and explains why he needed to leave to have ‘fun’ again

Matteo Guendouzi speaks out on Arsenal exit
The young midfielder is spending the season on loan at Hertha Berlin (Picture: Getty Images)

Matteo Guendouzi has opened up on his decision to leave Arsenal on loan and says he was ‘hurt’ by the way in which he lost his place in the team and was ostracised from the squad.

The Frenchman was forced to train with the youth team after falling out of favour with manager Mikel Arteta, who reprimanded the midfielder following his clash with Brighton’s Neal Maupay back in June.

Although he escaped a punishment from the Football Association, Guendouzi’s actions – having grabbed the throat of Maupay – did not go down well with Arteta, particularly after several other disciplinary issues.

Matteo Guendouzi Brighton & Hove Albion v Arsenal FC - Premier League
Guendouzi was frozen out by Arteta after clashing with Maupay (Picture: Getty)

Having been exiled by his manager, not even making matchday squads, all parties agreed he needed to leave and he was sent out on loan to Hertha Berlin just before the window closed.

It has not been plain sailing for Guendouzi since then – his side were hammered 5-2 against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday – but the 21-year-old is delighted to be getting regular game time again and had become dispirited by his situation at Arsenal.

‘I needed to have fun on the pitch, to regain confidence and that’s what Hertha offers me. It really is a choice I made,’ Guendouzi told Telefoot.

‘In the space of two seasons I have played more than 80 games with Arsenal.

‘When you play less, you start to think and it hurts.’

Matteo Guendouzi Hertha BSC v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga
Guendouzi is enjoying his football against at Hertha Berlin (Picture: Getty)

Although Guendouzi still has several years left to run on his contract with Arsenal, former player Kevin Campbell does not believe his relationship with the club and Arteta is salvageable.

‘He doesn’t have a future at Arsenal. Mikel Arteta put him in detention after the Brighton game last season, that is what it was – detention,’ said Campbell earlier this month.

‘A manager like Arteta wants to see that you can toe the line, take your punishment, keep your trap shut and get working. Guendouzi could not do it.’

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