Arsenal legend Robert Pires has hailed Matteo Guendouzi’s battling display against Tottenham yesterday as the two sides played out a 2-2 draw.
At 20 years old, the midfielder is still relatively inexperienced.
But he was a standout performer against Spurs in the north London derby and provided a superb assist for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s equaliser.
Pires, who won two league titles with Arsenal, says his compatriot is the real deal.
“Matteo is a warrior,” Pires told The Athletic.
“He had a fantastic match. He’s a combative player and what I like about him is that he is consistent with that.
“He does his job, patrolling defensive midfield, winning the ball, tackling well, and then playing the ball quickly and simply.
“That’s why he is an important player for Unai [Emery] and for Arsenal.
“I liked the reaction of the team to going 2-0 down, the manner of the response.”
Speaking before the match, Guendouzi explained that he’d been working hard behind the scenes.
“I’m really happy with how things have gone,” he said.
“This last season has been extremely important to me in terms of how I’ve played and the progress I’ve made.
“I’m really satisfied with how the season has been. Now of course in terms of the season to come, I feel like I’ve got a lot to show. There’s a lot to learn too, in terms of the team dynamic and style of play.
“I feel like I need to work on my defensive and tactical positioning, being closer to the ball.
“It’s something that I’ve been working on in training but also by watching videos of myself as well as studying the stats, and working with the coaches on a programme.”
The 20-year-old also hailed Emery for putting his trust in him.
“Unai has really helped me, he gave me a lot of game time last season and this season as well,” he added.
“My relationship with him is really based on a mutual trust.
“He’s really invested a lot in my progress since I arrived at the club, which has been extremely important for me.
“He’s given me a lot of advice on and off the pitch, which is something that I really appreciate. We talk a lot and this has helped me grow on a personal level but also within the team.”