‘Guendouzi is worth every penny’ – How Mertesacker recommendation convinced Hertha Berlin to sign Arsenal midfielder

Guendouzi Mertesacker composite

Hertha Berlin sporting director Arne Friedrich says that Matteo Guendouzi is “worth every penny” after joining on loan from Arsenal this summer following a recommendation from former Gunners star Per Mertesacker.

Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille had also made contact with the Gunners, but it was Hertha Berlin that won out as the only club that submitted an official bid for the France Under-21international.

Forced to quarantine upon arriving in Berlin due to a positive coronavirus test, Guendouzi has had a delayed start to life in the Bundesliga, although he has now featured in four consecutive games.

Friedrich, who has been with Hertha since November 2019 after previously playing for the club for eight seasons, says that Guendouzi’s arrival in Berlin was preceded by a glowing recommendation from former international team-mate Mertesacker.

“He’s a fantastic player,” Friedrich told reporters. “We spoke to Arsenal before the transfer obviously, and I also spoke to Per Mertesacker, with whom I played in the national team. Our relationship is very honest, very transparent, and he had already said that he has such good quality and he’s showed it already.

“From the first day whenhe camehere to Germany onwards, he had to go into quarantine…I don’t know what happened, I think either him or someone else tested positive so he had to sit in the hotel for the first two weeks here in a brand new city.

“He was so professional and we brought him some gear, a bike to work on and he was really, really ambitious to get on the field as soon as possible.

“Ever since, every day he shows in practice what a good player he is.”

Since heading out on loan, Guendouzi has said thatteam-matesMesut Ozil and Bernd Lenohelped steer him towards the Bundesliga, although the 21-year-old Frenchman believes that he still has a future at the Emirates.

He did, however, admit thathe felt he needed to leaveArsenalto have fun, having been left frustrated by a lack of playing time in north London towards the end of last season.

Now settled in Berlin, the midfielder is beginning to impress, with Friedrich saying that Guendouzi has already left a major impression on the club’s hierarchy.

“He’s so calm,” he said. “He wants every single ball, even under pressure. He has his own understanding that he wants to win games.

“He has this intrinsic motivation to just show the world how good he is. This is what we need, this is what everybody needs and he is highly confident, which is also very important for our team because our team is still looking for structure.

Source : goal.com