Martin Keown raves about Arsenal signing: He showed more appetite than senior players

The Arsenal legend heaps praise on Matteo Guendouzi for his performance in a 2-0 loss to Man City

Arsenal boss Unai Emery Photo: Screen grab

Martin Keown praised Matteo Guendouzi for his “gallant performance” in Arsenal’s 2-0 loss to Manchester City in their Premier League opener.

The French teenager was the fifth signing of the summer transfer window under new Arsenal manager Unai Emery following the additions of Stephan Lichtsteiner, Bernd Leno, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Lucas Torreira.

Emery handed Guendouzi his debut for the visit of the defending Premier League champions Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium despite a lack of top-flight experience.

The former Lorient teenager made some mistakes during the 2-0 loss to Manchester City but the Gunners signing had more touches of the ball than any other Arsenal player.

Guendouzi, who is a France Under-19 international, made four successful tackles and finished with a pass completion of 81 per cent in a decent showing at the Emirates Stadium.

Emery even withdrew Aaron Ramsey instead of the French teenager to underline the new manager’s faith in the Arsenal talent ahead of the new Premier League season.

Former Arsenal defender Keown heaped praise on Guendouzi for his performance against the defending champions.

“Yes, Guendozi made some mistakes, but I actually thought he was quite gallant in his performance,” Keown told BBC Sport.

“He did not hide after making those errors, and was actually fearless in the way he kept on showing to receive the ball.

“It seemed to me that some of the people around him, who are more senior players, did not quite show the same appetite to get on the ball when things were not going well.

“Is Guendozi the answer to Arsenal’s prayers in that position? Probably not, but I think he was put in there for his character, and he certainly showed a lot of it.”

Arsenal will make the trip across London to take on bitter rivals Chelsea FC in their next Premier League game on Saturday evening.

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