After a very promising start to his loan spell at Marseille, things are threatening to turn sour for Matteo Guendouzi after the Arsenal midfielder clashed with one of his teammates.
The 22-year-old had earned rave reviews for his early performances for the Ligue 1 side, even earning a call-up to the senior French national team during the most recent international break.
But cracks have started to emerge in the last couple of weeks, only drawing against 10-man Lokomotiv Moscow in the Europa League, only claiming a point against Angers and then losing to Lens last time out.
Guendouzi particularly struggled in that most recent defeat and clashed with teammate Gerson after Lens’ second goal, with other players – including Dmitri Payet – having to calm the situation.
According to L’Equipe, Guendouzi asked his teammate ‘when he was going to start running’, a comment which did not go down at all well in the locker room.
A discussion on talk show Le Phoceen revealed that Gerson is not the only Marseille player who has been on the receiving end of criticism from Guendouzi, with many players in the squad already becoming tired with the young midfielder’s attitude and moaning.
There is a feeling that he always blames other people when things go wrong, while in training he has riled teammates with his overly dramatic reactions, dropping to his knees and yelling to the heavens when teammates take a bad first touch.
Some of Marseille’s foreign contingent in particular are struggling with Guendouzi’s over-the-top behaviour and want him to stop criticising every little mistake.
Guendouzi has already developed a reputation as a rather difficult character and had similar issues at Arsenal, even clashing with Mikel Arteta to such an extent that he was banished from the squad, while he had to be reprimanded by Edu on another occasion during a training camp.
As part of his loan move, Marseille can buy Guendouzi for around £10million next summer, though the French side may start having doubts if the youngster continues to create such an uneasy environment in the dressing room.