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Interview

'Guendouzi is a very good example to others'

Matteo Guendouzi's meteoric rise has been one of the stories of the season so far.

 
The 20-year-old was playing in the French second division less than 18 months ago, but last week received his first call-up to the senior France squad.
 
Unai Emery has been hugely impressed by Guendouzi, having started him in every game for us this season, and says his progress should encourage others at the club.
 
"Matteo is a very good example for how we can develop our young players, with new young players or the spirit within the players who are here now," our head coach told Arsenal Player. "He started last year, at the beginning, with some doubts about his adaptation after he came from Lorient in the second division in France.
 
"He was very young, but his ambition and his wish to adapt very quickly, as well as his quality, were very good for us. He started playing and training with us, and after, his progress and development during the season was amazing.

 
"But also, we were working with him on some details we needed to improve with him - his food, his body, how we can work to make it stronger, his arms, his body, his legs.
 
"This year, I think he’s taken one step ahead, improving and also giving us one level more in his performances. We want to continue with him, working in each training session and in each match.
 
"For him and for us it’s a big challenge to take that step ahead. For other young players, his spirit, his progress, his development is a good example, for Willock, for Emile Smith Rowe, for Reiss Nelson. It’s a very good example for everybody."

Interview

Emery - How I rate our start to the season

We may only be four games into the new Premier League season, but Unai Emery has been satisfied with what he has seen from the team so far.

 
After a busy summer of signings and departures, we’re fifth in the table having won two, drawn one and lost one game - but what has really stood out to our head coach?
 
“I think we're positive because we changed some players [but have played well]," Emery told Arsenal Player. "We've lost some important players, for example Nacho Monreal and Koscielny, and in the last moment Mkhitaryan and Iwobi.
 
"We are getting young players and giving them chances to do one step more with us, getting that performance in the way we demand. I think with the young players and also the experienced players we have, plus we've signed some new players, I think we are building a very important squad with different characteristics from the players. We're also being very demanding in our objectives.
 
"Every player is very important for me. The new players, the young players, the players who have been with us for a lot of time. Really, we need a good mix of everybody and take care to create a new ambition, a new motivation, and also create our way with them.

 
"Really we can be very excited about some players, but I want to have the same level of excitement for Pepe, for example, or Ceballos, David Luiz or Martinelli as I am with Reiss Nelson, with Willock, with Emile Smith Rowe. Also with the players who were working with us last year like Mesut Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette, Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, Leno... everybody. We can be excited about every player.

"We [still] need to improve the adaptation of the different players who have come here in the last moments. Also, we need to improve in our way. For example, I think we can continue being very offensive with a lot of important offensive players. We also want to take the balance defensively to be strong and I think the first four matches allowed us to show our first characteristic: to be offensive.
 
"Maybe we need to continue working to create a balance defensively in some moments, and also tactically when making some decisions. Really, the most important thing is how we can show our support and our energy, our spirit.
 
"We want to win each match but also to show our speed, our energy playing with intensity. I think we are working to do that in our way, in our target of giving them a big characteristic for us. We want to play with energy."