Martin Keown questions Unai Emery’s surprise Arsenal decision

The Arsenal legend questions Unai Emery's decision to start Matteo Guendouzi for the visit of Man City

Arsenal manager Unai Emery Photo: Football.ru / Wikimedia

Martin Keown has expressed his surprise that Unai Emery opted to start Matteo Guendouzi for Arsenal’s 2-0 loss to Manchester City last weekend.

The French teenager moved to the Gunners in an £8m deal from Ligue 1 side Lorient in the summer transfer window.

The 19-year-old was a signing with one eye on the future after Unai Emery took over the reins from Arsene Wenger back in May.

Guendouzi had limited first-team experience at Lorient despite building a promising reputation at Lorient.

The teenager made his Premier League debut in a 2-0 loss to Manchester City ahead of £26m summer signing Lucas Torreira.

Emery even opted to withdraw Ramsey ahead of Guendouzi despite the summer signing’s mixed performance.

While the French starlet acquitted himself reasonably well in their Premier League opener, Keown questioned Emery’s decision to start the teenager in Arsenal’s 2-0 loss to Manchester City.

“I am not criticising Guendouzi’s performance,” Keown told the Daily Mail.

“He gave a gallant display and Unai Emery clearly thought he showed enough fight and determination in pre-season to warrant starting over Lucas Torreira.

“But City made life uncomfortable for Guendouzi at times and I did not feel it was the right game to expose such a young player.”

Arsenal will make the short trip across the English capital to take on bitter rivals Chelsea FC in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening.

The Gunners have signed Juventus defender Stephan Lichtsteiner, Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno, Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Torreira in the summer transfer window.

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