MATTEO GUENDOUZI has opened up on his relationship with Mikel Arteta and revealed the real reason behind his Arsenal departure.
The midfielder left the club in a permanent transfer to Marseille in the summer after spending the two previous years out on loan.
He was banished from the Arsenal squad by Arteta in the summer of 2020 following his infamous spat with Brighton’s Neal Maupay.
At the end of the match, which took place during Project Restart, Guendouzi grabbed the former Seagulls striker by the throat.
He is also alleged to have taunted Brighton players about their ability and boasted about his salary, with reports claiming that contributed to Guendouzi never playing for the club again.
Although the Frenchman dismissed that suggestion, he admitted he didn’t enjoy the best relationship with Arteta.
He told BeIN Sports: “Journalists used [the Maupay incident] to say that we had a bad relationship and thatâs why I stopped playing and left Arsenal.
“Not at all. Itâs a gesture like many on the pitch. Thereâs a lot of tension sometimes, a lot of problems on the pitch. In any case, it has nothing to do with all that.
“Itâs true that I didnât have the best relationship with [Arteta].
“Beyond that, I always tried to work, always gave the maximum of myself in training and in matches. I still played a few matches with him, I still put in great performances.
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“He preferred other players and I respect that decision.
“Thatâs why, afterwards, I also decided to leave because I was still young, I needed playing time to continue to progress.
“The most important thing when youâre young is to play.”
Arteta decided to expel Guendouzi, 23, from the squad after that match on the south coast, with Dani Ceballos taking his place and helping the Gunners win the FA Cup.
Joe Willock was also picked ahead of Guendouzi, who likely knew his time at Arsenal was up following the arrival of Thomas Partey.
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