Arsenals head of recruitment Sven Mislintat has revealed he was convinced that Matteo Guendouzi had the potential to thrive under Unai Emery.
The 19-year-old was a surprise £7 million signing from Lorient was not expected to feature month in his debut campaign.
But the midfielder has made 18 appearances in all competitions this season, while his latest start came in the 2-2 draw against Manchester United on Wednesday evening.
Mislintat believes Guendouzis signing was a reminder that Arsenal remain a club who give young players a chance and says he was confident the French midfielder would impress once Emery improved his tactical awareness.
I saw him at Lorient when the club was still in the first division. I like this club because you always find interesting players. Guendouzi stood out with his long hair and personality, Mislintat told De Zeit
But Im also interested in the weaknesses. Can you turn it off? Matteo ran around the field inappropriately, but I knew it was just a matter of training and the time to stop that.
For us, the transfer of the then 18-year-old was important to show the world: We are again the old Arsenal, which gives young players a chance.
I need to know how to read it. Julian Weigl, for example, had only very average statistics in his time at 1860 Munich, even on the ball.
But that was because he was used as a so-called box-to-box player, who runs back and forth between the penalty rooms. The balls flew over him.
Often, young players have not yet received the necessary tactical understanding.
We thought: If Weigl were in the six-position before the defense with strong players used around him, he would be another player.
He would be able to distribute the balls, wait, balance the game. It was similar with Matteo Guendouzi.
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