Matteo Guendouzi has lifted the lid on his relationship with Mikel Arteta and revealed the real reason behind his Arsenal departure.The midfielder made a permanent move to Marseille in the summer after loan spells at the Ligue 1 club and Bundesliga side Hertha.
The 23-year-old was banished from the Arsenal squad by Arteta in June 2020 following his infamous spat with Brighton‘s Neal Maupay.
‘Journalists used this excuse to say that we had a bad relationship and that’s why I stopped playing and left Arsenal [the Maupay incident],’ Guendouzi told BeIN Sports.
‘Not at all. It’s a gesture like many on the pitch. There’s a lot of tension sometimes, a lot of problems on the pitch. In any case, it has nothing to do with all that.’
Addressing his time under Arteta, the ex-Gunner added: ‘It’s true that I didn’t have the best relationship with him. Beyond that, I always tried to work, always gave the maximum of myself in training and in matches. I still play a few matches with him, I still did great performances.
‘He preferred other players and I respect that decision. That’s why, afterwards, I also decided to leave because I was still young, I needed playing time to continue to progress. The most important when you’re young is to play.’
Much was expected of the Frenchman in England, following his £8million move to the Gunners in 2018.