Mattéo Guendouzi has joined Bundesliga outfit Hertha Berlin on a season-long loan.
There is no option or obligation to buy the France U21 international, who joined Arsenal for £8m from Lorient in 2018, but the German club will take on his full salary.
The youngster has made 82 appearances in all competition for the Gunners but has not featured since the 2-1 defeat to Brighton last season after falling out with manager Mikel Arteta.
Concern was first raised about his attitude on a trip to Dubai before the duo clashed again following the late loss to the Seagulls where he was criticised for boasting about his wages.
Despite recent comments suggesting Arteta was willing to reintegrate Guendouzi into the team, he has yet to feature in a matchday squad this season and is clearly deemed surplus to requirements with the club accepting no loan fee to ensure his exit.
There was hope Guendouzi would have fetched a high price this summer but interest from PSG and Barcelona never materialised into concrete offers while Lyon rejected an offer for Houssem Aouar that included Guendouzi, stating he wasn’t the “right profile.”
Unai Emery was keen to reunite with him at Villarreal but Guendouzi snubbed the Yellow Submarine along with Valencia and Atalanta and will now spend the season in Germany.
Arsenal will hope he impresses in the capital to generate a high fee next summer, however, with his contract expiring in 2022, a low-cut transfer is more likely.
I have been a fan of Guendouzi and thought he would push Granit Xhaka out of the team last season but he hasn’t got any specialist attributes. He isn’t a traditional midfield anchor or attacking midfielder, nor is he a playmaker of any kind.
He does have the ability to grab the game by the scruff of the neck but seems to step up when there is chaos rather than in a structure, which is what Arteta prefers.
Getting rid of Guendouzi was vital due to his status in Arteta’s plans and reputation as a trouble maker, particularly when things are not going his way.
He has talent but doesn’t seem to have the attitude to match, evident when he posted a picture of his luxury holiday at the same moment that Arsenal won the FA Cup.
Of course, Mesut Özil is also out of favour and is taking home far more than Guendouzi and in an ideal world both would move on but the German has always insisted he will see out his contract.
If Arteta is true to his word then an impressive season in the Bundesliga could see him resurrect his Arsenal career. The Spaniard has always left the door open to his players and Guendouzi shouldn’t be an exception.
However, I doubt we will see the Frenchman, who earns £40k-a-week, play for Arsenal again. It seems their relationship is beyond repair and the best both parties can hope for is a strong season in Germany, which leads to a decent sale next summer
His departure frees up money to bring in Thomas Partey with Arsenal reportedly set to activate his €50m release clause.