Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was left unimpressed by midfielder Matteo Guendouzi during their winter break last week in Dubai.
The French midfielder was missing from Arsenal’s 4-0 win over Newcastle United on Sunday with some fans wondering why one of their most consistent players couldn’t make the squad despite no news of him getting ill or injured.
When asked for the reason behind Guendouzi’s omission, Arteta revealed it was not a ‘tactical’ decision but admitted that there were people who had trained better than the youngster during their break.
“The reason is that players who, in my opinion, are training better, behaving better and are more applied to deliver on the pitch, what we want, are the players selected," he told beIN Sports after the game.
It was the first time all season that Guendouzi had not been a part of Arsenal’s 18 man squad, with Granit Xhaka, Dani Ceballos, Lucas Torreira and Joe Willock preferred instead.
The Spaniard then offered Ceballos as an example of what he wants to see from Guendouzi after the Real Madrid loanee made his first league appearance for the Gunners since early November.
“Dani Ceballos is a good example. He was injured and when he started to train I didn’t think he was fit enough. He completely changed his behavior and trained like an animal. I thought he was the best player on the pitch.”
The win put Arsenal in contention for a top-four finish with the position being fought by about five teams.
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