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£40,000-a-week player is showing big game qualities that Arsenal hoped 26-year-old would

Arsenal fought back from two goals behind to deny Tottenham all three points at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday. Goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ensured a share of the spoils.

The Gunners were abject for 40 minutes of the contest but they do have players in their ranks these days who are capable of pulling something out of the bag.

One of those is young midfielder Matteo Guendouzi. Every young player has that one game where they come of age and the first North London-derby of 2019/20 might prove to be that game for the 20-year-old.

(Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

It’s perhaps telling that just 24 hours after the fixture, Guendouzi was receiving a call informing him that he had been selected for the France squad.

Stepping up

His performance in the derby belied his tender years and showed that he is capable of stepping up the plate when it really matters for his team.

The man doing that should have been Granit Xhaka. Whilst the Arsenal captain toiled, Guendouzi increased the tempo, upped the work rate and rolled up his sleeves for his team’s cause.

Xhaka, 26, was way below par during the Spurs draw and his current form is already looking problematic for the Arsenal boss.

In Guendouzi, however, the Gunners have a player who is extremely capable of becoming one of Europe’s very best midfielders.

(Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Of course, he will need to add some consistency to his game but right now is upstaging Xhaka considerably.

Whilst Xhaka was busy giving needless penalties away on Sunday, the Frenchman was strutting around the Emirates turf with stunning elegance. His range of passing was superb and he almost single-handedly thwarted the midfield danger possessed by Spurs.

Right now, the £40,000-a-week (Spotrac) Guendouzi is proving everything that Arsenal hoped Xhaka would become.

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