Matteo Guendouzi has been a fantastic signing.
Signed for just £7million last summer, it is easy to forget that he is just 18-year-old and had just 8 Ligue 1 appearances to his name.
The original plan would probably have been to use him at 6th choice central midfielder, behind Granit Xhaka, Lucas Torreira, Aaron Ramsey, Mo Elneny and Ainsley Maitland-Niles. The World Cup and some injuries saw him got some early game time and he has not looked back.
His form has led to speculation that PSG are considering a bid this summer.
I have spoken before about how Liverpool have been able to build a title winning squad by buying low, selling high and reinvesting that in more players. Over the last 5 seasons, they have bought in over £200m more in player sales than Arsenal. This has enable them to sign Allisson, Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah.
When you compare that to Arsenal who have lost about £200m in player sales over that period due to contracts and underselling players – think Alexis Sanchez, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck, Wojech Szczesny & Serge Gnabry – it leads us to the situation which we are now in. Liverpool 2nd, Arsenal 5th.
I have blogged previously that Arsenal will need to take a risk. Perhaps sell Lucas Torreira for big money and reinvest that on 3 or 4 players.
£60million for Matteo Guendouzi is huge money for a player with half a good season, and Arsenal should seriously consider it.
PSG have previously had problems filling their “home-grown” quota for the Champions League.
With the mega rich oil-financed club recruiting the worlds best players, this has often been at the detriment over French talent.
This has led to PSG signing the likes of Lassana Diarra, Hatem Ben Arfa, Benjamin Stambouli and Yohan Cabaye in recent years.
Despite France being current World Champions, very few of the national teams top players came from PSG.
With Adrien Rabiot, Christopher Nkunku and Lassana Diarra set to leave them in the summer, they will be left with just 4 senior French players in their squad.
This means they will need to go out to the market and recruit French, which in return will see premium price tags put on French players akin to what happens in England with English players.
Guendouzi would be an ideal signing for PSG.
He is one of the best young midfielders in world football. PSG would be signing him knowing that he has the potential to become a first team regular at the highest level – and not just to make up the numbers like Diarra, Ben Arfa et al.
He would be the perfect replacement for Rabiot.
Not only is Guendouzi French, he is Parisian.
Born in Poissy, an outer suburb of France, Guendouzi joined the PSG academy at the age of 6. He left Paris to join Lorient’s academy in 2014.
PSG fans will be wondering why they let such a talent out of their door at 15-years-old.
With the premium PSG will pay on French players, Guendouzi’s potential, and him being Paris-born. a fee in the region of £60million would not be too far from the truth – remember they spent £144million signing another Paris born teenager – Kylian Mbappe.
So should Arsenal take it? My heart might say no but my head says yes.
Let us paint a kick picture.
Arsenal sell Guendouzi for £60million. We then recruit two of the French central midfielders that PSG are set to lose this summer – Rabiot and Nkunku.
Rabiot is available on a free this summer and is a better player than Guendouzi.
They are very similar in the way they play (and look), but with Rabiot being 4-years Guendouzi’s senior, he is the more polished player. Closer to the finished article.
Guendouzi has the potential to be better than Rabiot, but we would be trading a player with a handful of appearances for someone with well over 200.
In January, Arsenal were also heavily linked with Christopher Nkunku for £18 million.
Were we to secure both Rabiot and Nkunku we would be improving our first XI and signing a talented youngster for the future. We would also be £42million up on the deal.
Sou would making the deal make sense?