Hertha Berlin sporting director confirms Matteo Guendouzi is heading back to Arsenal after injury

Arsenal loanee Matteo Guendouzi is forced off in Hertha's win over Freiburg
Arsenal loanee Matteo Guendouzi was forced off in Hertha’s win over Freiburg (Picture: Getty)

Hertha Berlin chief Arne Friedrich has confirmed Matteo Guendouzi has played his final match for the club and will be heading back to Arsenal after suffering a metatarsal fracture.

Guendouzi, 22, was sent on loan to Hertha last October and made 24 appearances across the Bundesliga campaign before his setback, notching up two goals and three assists with the side embroiled in a relegation scrap.

A comprehensive 3-0 win over Freiburg on Thursday night gave 15th-placed Hertha major encouragement in their fight for survival with four games remaining of the season but Guendouzi’s injury will have put a slight dampener on the victory.

Sami Khedira came on as a replacement as Guendouzi was helped off the field towards the end of the first half and the Frenchman’s 39-minute cameo appearance will be his last showing in the team’s blue and white strip.

Matteo Guendouzi lies on the floor with an injury during Hertha's clash with Freiburg
Guendouzi has played his final match on loan at Hertha (Picture: Getty)

Subsequent scans revealed Guendouzi had sustained a metatarsal fracture in his right foot and the midfielder will be on his way back to north London in due course.

‘He led the boys. He played very, very good games and always gave everything for the club,’ Hertha sporting director Friedrich said.

‘But the fact is that he does not belong to Hertha and is going back.’

Matteo Guendouzi and Mikel Arteta look on in Arsenal training
Guendouzi reportedly fell out with Arsenal manager Arteta (Picture: Getty)

Reacting to his injury earlier this week, Guendouzi tweeted: ‘Thank you for all your messages! I’m good but disappointed to not be there to help the team for the end of the season. Be strong.’

It remains to be seen whether or not Arsenal keep hold of Guendouzi next term, with head coach Mikel Arteta less than impressed with the player’s attitude and professionalism after a series of disciplinary issues.

The injury looks likely to rule Guendouzi out of the remainder of France’s European U21 Championships campaign which resumes at the end of the month.

Guendouzi has just one year remaining on his current deal at the Emirates and Arsenal must decide whether to cash in on him this summer or risk losing him on a free transfer in 12 months’ time.

Russia v France - 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship
The midfielder may miss the remainder of France’s European U21 Championships campaign (Picture: Getty)

Last month, former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit urged Guendouzi to control his hotheadedness and ‘shut his mouth’ to ensure he has a future with the Gunners.

‘I think things happened too quickly for Matteo Guendouzi at a time where he wasn’t strong enough mentally. He has a volcanic personality,’ Petit told Ladbrokes.

‘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 okay 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.

‘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.’

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