Matteo Guendouzi could be responsible for a potential Arsenal cash injection ahead of next summer’s transfer window.
The 22-year-old arrived in north London from Ligue 1 side Lorient in the summer of 2018, and quickly established himself as a key player under former Gunners head coach Unai Emery.
And this season the midfielder is back in France with Marseille and it’s safe to say the decision to join Jorge Sampaoli’s side has been vindicated already with him a regular in the engine room.
Never too far away from the headlines, the midfielder has already captained the Ligue 1 side, confronted his own teammates on the pitch and has weighed in with three goals across all competitions (as per transfermarkt).
Guendouzi’s latest appearance came on Sunday night when Marseille held leaders Paris Saint-Germain to a goalless draw in a game that saw another Arsenal loanee in William Saliba catch the eye.
One that he passed with flying colours as his performance garnered a massive response from Gunners supporters on social media.
The biggest talking point came in the closing stages when Messi sent Mbappe clean through on goal, but Saliba somehow caught up to the France superstar to produce a wonderful recovering tackle to nudge the ball away from danger.
Naturally, after helping Marseille keep a clean sheet against a PSG forward line that contained the aforementioned quartet, there have been suggestions that Saliba ‘pocketed’ Messi and Mbappe.
Take a look at what’s been said on Twitter…
@TheGoonerNation said: “Saliba just kept Messi, Mbappe, Neymar & Di Maria in his pocket.”
@Moltisanti_afc said: “William Saliba kept Mbappe, Messi and Neymar in his pocket.”
@alameenuz1 said: “Just watched Saliba pocket Mbappe. Still don’t understand why Arteta didn’t give him a chance.”
Whilst the footballing world wasn’t exactly talking about Guendouzi after the draw against PSG, he more than played his part in ensuring Marseille got a point that inches them closer to avoiding relegation this season.
This is key for Arsenal as football.london understands that the midfielder is set to join the Ligue 1 side on a permanent basis next summer.
But only on the condition that Marseille are in the top-flight of French football come the end of the season as they will then trigger the €11m (£9.5m) option to sign Guendouzi.
Of course, Marseille are almost certain to avoid relegation this season, but until it’s mathematically impossible to go down, there’s a small chance that Guendouzi could return to Arsenal.
Although, the midfielder’s potential permanent exit from Emirates Stadium would be good news for his parent club, Arteta, and technical director Edu.
Amid links to the likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Ollie Watkins, a cool £9.5m windfall just might help get one of those deals over the line.