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Hertha Berlin boss says ‘rebel’ Guendouzi is going through football puberty

Hertha Berlin boss Pal Dardai has said that Matteo Guendouzi is a rebel and is going through football puberty, according to German media outlet Bild via Goal.

The 21-year-old joined the German side on a season-long loan towards the end of the summer transfer window in 2020. He has been a very important part of the side in the 2020/21 campaign. He has scored two goals and provided one assist in 17 appearances in the Bundesliga this season.

He joined Hertha Berlin after being exiled from the Arsenal first team by manager Mikel Arteta. The French midfielder’s attitude and poor temperament put the Spaniard off. He was rumoured to have had bust-ups with Sokratis and technical director Edu Gaspar during the club’s winter break in Dubai. 

He appeared to grab Brighton striker Neil Maupay by the throat after the Gunners’ 2-1 defeat to the Seagulls towards the end of last season and reportedly bragged to Brighton players about the amount of money he was making at Arsenal. 

His refusal to apologise to Arteta and the club for his behaviour at the AmEx Stadium sealed his fate. 

Hertha boss Dardai feels that the Frenchman is still some way off of the required level of maturity for a top-level footballer. He said:

“It’s like puberty for him, he’s kind of a rebel. He has to work and learn like an animal.”

In the German side’s 3-0 defeat to Red Bull Leipzig last Sunday, Guendouzi was introduced as a 68th minute substitute. Three minutes after coming on, he lost the ball inside his own box and this led to Leipzig’s second goal. 

Regarding this situation, Dardai said:

“In training, I always stop these kind of duels because you can’t fall to the ground like this. And, afterwards, he’s mad.”

Guendouzi’s time in Germany has been successful so far and he received special praise from Hertha Berlin’s sporting director Arne Friedrich in December. Friedrich said:

“He’s a fantastic player. We are very, very happy to have him here and he’s worth every penny.”

It remains to be seen what Arsenal will look to do with the talented but unpredictable Frenchman when his loan spell in Germany comes to an end in the summer. 

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