‘Inevitable’ Ligue 1 exit offers Emery chance to reunite with midfield gem at Aston Villa

Ciaran McCarthy
Matteo Guendouzi, Marseille, February 2023

Matteo Guendouzi’s exit from Marseille in the summer is reportedly ‘inevitable’ and that should alert Unai Emery to the opportunity to reunite with his former gem at Aston Villa.

Guendouzi was starting to become a more regular performer for Arsenal during the back end of his spell at the Emirates. However, his on-field conduct meant he fell out of Mikel Arteta’s plans.

That led to two loans away from Arsenal, the second to Marseille, before he signed for the French club permanently in 2022.

In January, he was the subject of interest from Aston Villa. He worked with Villa manager Emery at Arsenal before the boss was sacked in favour of Arteta.

Indeed, Emery made a move for Guendouzi his ‘priority’ in the winter window, keen on reuniting with him. Despite Marseille reportedly being ok with letting the midfielder go, nothing came of the interest and he has remained in France.

However, it seems Emery might now get his chance to reunite with his former gem.

L’Equipe reports that Guendouzi’s departure at the end of the season is ‘inevitable’. The report also suggests his transfer is ‘clearly programmed,’ though ‘it remains to be seen who will get their hands on him’.

If Emery’s January plans are anything to go by it should be Aston Villa who come out victorious. The boss was keen to reunite with his former student and it’s not hard to see why.

Guendouzi was directly involved in 12 league goals from the midfield last season.

That helped Marseille to finish second and they’re in that position again at the moment, with Guendouzi having had a hand in four goals in 22 games as well as two in three Coupe de France fixtures.

It wouldn’t be a big surprise if Emery was in the hunt for the Frenchman again in the summer. He’ll want to build on whatever finish he can achieve in his first season in the club and adding players that play the way he wants to will be key to success in the future.

It’s not clear how much the Villans would have to pay for Guendouzi, but they’ll surely be ready to place a decent bid.

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