France manager Didier Deschamps has heaped praise on Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi after handing him a senior international call-up.
Guendouzi is part of an Arsenal side struggling for form so far this season and suffering through a number of off-field issues.
Guendouzi set for France debut? Four things to know…
- Guendouzi has been capped 23 times for France at youth level.
- But he is yet to make his senior debut for Les Bleus.
- The 20-year-old has replaced Blaise Matuidi in Deschamps’ latest squad.
- The midfielder has completed 661 passes in the Premier League this season, at least 179 more than any other Arsenal player.
However, his individual output hasn’t suffered as a result and the 20-year-old has been rewarded with a call-up to the France national team after Blaise Matuidi dropped out earlier in the week.
Les Bleus face Moldova on Thursday and ahead of that clash, Deschamps lavished praise upon Guendouzi, who will look to pick up his first senior cap during this international break.
“This is the second time [Matteo Guendouzi] has joined us to replace an injured player,” he told reporters.
“Although his club’s results are certainly not to Arsenal’s expectations, he has been good with them and the under-21s.
“He’s been here before. He is a young player who has a lot of potential, even though he didn’t play when he joined us in September.”
Thierry Henry: Guendouzi gives Deschamps a nice problem
Despite the absences of the likes of Matuidi and Paul Pogba, Guendouzi will still face stiff competition for a place in France’s midfield.
Deschamps is still able to call upon the likes of N’Golo Kante, Corentin Tolisso and Spurs duo Moussa Sissoko and Tanguy Ndombele in Guendouzi’s position.
However, Henry – who was appointed as manager of MLS side Montreal Impact on Thursday – believes Guendouzi’s inclusion presents a “nice problem” to Deschamps and has been impressed with his compatriot’s form for Arsenal.
“I saw him (Guendouzi) also at the Under-21 European Championship where he played on and off,” Henry said.
“He’s been doing well with Arsenal. Is he going to make the Euros or not? I don’t know.
“The competition is massive in midfield. But it’s a great experience for him to be able to go and play some games, just being in and around the team.
“That’s the type of problem that Didier Deschamps is going to have. But in all fairness, they are nice problems to have.”