‘I just really needed to play’ – Guendouzi denies Arsenal career is over after Hertha Berlin loan move

The French midfielder fell out of favour at the Emirates Stadium and has secured a switch to Germany as he looks for more regular first-team football

Matteo Guendouzi has claimed that his Arsenal career is not over, despite having slipped down the pecking order at the Emirates Stadium leading to a loan for the 2020-21 campaign.

The France Under-21 international fell out of favour under Mikel Arteta at Emirates Stadium, playing just two matches in all competitions following the resumption of the coronavirus-hit 2019-20 season back in June.

Although the 21-year-old decided to make the move to Hertha Berlin in the summer transfer window, he has denied suggestions that he is finished at Arsenal.

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Guendouzi, who is under contract with the Gunners until 2022, told Canal+ when asked if it was no longer possible to continue at Arsenal: “It is not that, I just really needed to play this year, a new challenge.

“That was the most important thing for me. I am still young, I am only 21, so playing time was the top priority for me. So Hertha Berlin, I know that I will be able to express myself in a magnificent league.”

On his decision to head to Bundesliga side Hertha, Guendouzi added: “They are a very good club with big ambitions. So, I have left to go on loan there for a year, so I will give everything I can for this club. I needed playing time, I need to play, I needed to enjoy myself on the pitch and that is what I am going to do this year.”

Arteta was asked about Guendouzi back in July and revealed what he expected from his players if they wanted to play more regularly under him.

The Spaniard said: “[I want] players that respect the values we want to implement, that they are 100 per cent committed to our culture, and players that are accountable every day for what we demand from them.

“Players that are ready to help each other, fight for each other and enjoy playing together. That is what I mean by being in the boat. If you behave like this every day, you are very, very welcome here and we want to get the best out of you and help you to enjoy your profession with us.”

He continued: “We all have moments when you have doubts about your future, you have difficult times and that is why the conversations have to be open. You have to create an environment for the players so they can trust you, to express those feelings. Even with me.

“If you do that you are always willing to help them, to try to guide them, to give them clarity, direction and support when they need it to feel comfortable. Make them feel they are at the right place.”

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