Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi has once again seen his attitude called into question, with former Lorient coach Mikael Landreau criticising his ‘oversized ego’ while speaking to Late Football Club.
There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance.
And it is a line Guendouzi has strayed across far too often in his young career, earning him a reputation as something of a troublesome character during spells on both sides of the Channel.
One of the most naturally talented young midfielders in Europe endured a strained relationship with former France goalkeeper Landreau during their time together at Lorient, before falling foul of the steely-eyed disciplinarian Mikel Arteta in England.
An unseemly argument with Brighton forward Neal Maupay after a 2-1 defeat in June felt like the straw that broke the camel’s back, with Arsenal farming Guendouzi out to Hertha Berlin on loan four months later.
And, after a fine performance in France’s 3-1 victory over Switzerland’s U21s on Monday, Landreau admitted that the fiery youngster is a rather ‘complicated’ individual, even if that competitive spirit could serve him well in the future.
“He’s a competitor. He ****** me off terribly, he’s very complicated to manage,” Landreau explained, translated by Onze Mondial.
“He is a brawler. He has an oversized ego, but he certainly needs it.”
Yes, Guendouzi has some maturing to do, but he is hardly the first 21-year-old footballer with an attitude problem.
If the Arsenal starlet can channel that tigerish personality a little more positively, there is no reason to believe he cannot still become one of Europe’s finest play-makers; and a key part of Arteta’s plans in north London.