Guendouzi hopes he has convinced Emery he is ready to rival Xhaka and Torreira


The more optimistic Arsenal fans are already likening him to Patrick Vieira and young Frenchman Matteo Guendouzi has certainly made an impact in his first Arsenal appearances.

The 19-year-old midfielder was signed from Lorient this summer and while he wasn’t expected to yet be an integral part of new boss Unai Emery’s plans, the teenager has started both of Arsenal’s International Champions Cup ties against Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint Germain.

A strong tackler with fine distribution, Guendouzi planed in the midfield anchor role in the draw with Atletico before he was given greater license to get forward playing alongside Mohamed Elneny in the 5-1 over a youthful PSG side.

He is still likely to step back to the U23 side when Arsenal have all their resources available, including World Cup returnee Granit Xhaka and new Uruguayan signing Lucas Torreira.

But he told AFP he hopes Emery will continue to involve him in the first team setup.

“Yes I hope to play, that’s true but this is a big squad, with a lot of great players with a lot of experience.

“It’s a question of working, working, working, and afterwards the coach will make his choices.

“But I hope to play a few games.

“It’s a great environment to work in, we’re working really well in training and we’re playing well in the matches.

“But it’s only the start. Hopefully this will be a big adventure with Arsenal.”

“These are only friendly matches so I need to keep working — that’s the most important thing for the future I hope to have at Arsenal.”

“I’m very happy about how the team played.

“It gives us confidence and it really made things easy for me. With such a good team and a good feeling around the team, I think we can really do some good things here.”