Matteo Guendouzi - an Unai Emery signing?
paininthearsenal's Andrew Dowdeswell believes this signing wasn't made by Sven Mislintat
"Just two days after the Torreira deal was made official, Sven Mislintat and his band of merry transfer men were making moves once again, this time for young French midfielder Matteo Guendouzi, who signed with the Gunners on a long-term contract from Ligue 2 side Lorient, whom he joined in 2014 when he was just 15 years of age.
"While it has been largely the work of Mislintat in highlighting needs and then addressing them with accurate and viable acquisitions this summer, this, I believe is very much an Unai Emery signing. Emery came to north London from Paris Saint-Germain. He knows French football in great detail — Emery’s detail, as explained by Ivan Gazidis who was astounded by his knowledge of the Arsenal squad during the interview process, is far deeper and wide-reaching than may other’s detail — and understands the assessments made of young players at PSG.
"He may not have been the manager of PSG while Guendouzi was there. Emery didn’t arrive until 2016, two years after Guendouzi’s departure. But he will have a relationship with the youth coaches who have remained at the club, he will know some of the academy players who grew up with Guendouzi, and he will be able to ask for an evaluation on his talent. Emery would not have been blind to Guendouzi’s ability.
"And that is important. I do not know the inner-workings of this transfer. Unlike others that have been undertaken this summer, this was a little more out-of-the-blue, it was not nearly as anticipated by the media. Now, some of that may be to do with the profile of the player. Had you heard of Guendouzi before the rumours surfaced?
But there is also a time delay element to it also. With Sokratis, for instance, Arsenal will have been working on that potential deal for months and months. That was Mislintat’s transfer, and he has been at the club since the turn of the year, and thereby has been working on the transfer since long before the summer ever got going. The same cannot be said for Emery.