Keown praises ‘fearless’ Guendouzi despite Arsenal defeat

Arsenal legend Martin Keown has praised new Gunners signing Matteo Guendouzi, who was thrust into the heart of midfield for their Premier League opener against Manchester City.

Arsenal fans have gone into the new season with renewed hope following the departure of Arsene Wenger, with the Frenchman’s replacement, Unai Emery, having made a number of signings to try to turn around the club’s fortunes.

While the likes of Bernd Leno, Sokratis Papastathopoulous, and Stephan Lichtsteiner three more high profile signings for the Gunners, Lucas Torreira showcased his talents at the World Cup, with Guendouzi came to the Emirates as somewhat of an unknown.

However, the 19-year-old was handed his first Arsenal start in the Gunners’ first Premier League game of the season and despite slipping to a 2-0 defeat to reigning champions Manchester City, former Arsenal defender Martin Keown was full of praise for the ‘fearless’ midfielder:

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“When I was watching Sunday’s game, I was thinking to myself how young Matteo Guendouzi was to be given such a key role in the heart of their midfield against a team as good as City are,” he told the BBC.

“He is only 19 and was making his debut after his summer move from Lorient, who play in the second tier in France.

“Yes, Guendozi made some mistakes, but I actually thought he was quite gallant in his performance. He did not hide after making those errors and was actually fearless in the way he kept on showing to receive the ball.

“It seemed to me that some of the people around him, who are more senior players, did not quite show the same appetite to get on the ball when things were not going well.

“Is Guendozi the answer to Arsenal’s prayers in that position? Probably not, but I think he was put in there for his character, and he certainly showed a lot of it.

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