Is Guendouzi ready to be a starter for Arsenal? Pick your top midfield to face Man City

If there is one position that Arsenal are very well stocked in it is the central midfield and even if we played 4-4-2 with Aubameyang and Lacazette up front, we wouldn’t have any room for defenders if we played all our midfielders!

We currently have listed in midfield….
4 Mohamed Elneny
7 Henrikh Mkhitaryan
8 Aaron Ramsey
10 Mesut Ozil
11 Lucas Torreira
15 Ainsley Maitland-Niles
29 Matteo Guendouzi
34 Granit Xhaka

And in a 4-4-2 you would have to include Welbeck, Iwobi and Perez (if he stays) as other possibilities. So that is 11 players (which ones the keeper?), and we haven’t even thought about youngsters like Smith-Rowe, Willock and Reiss Nelson!.

Looking at our pre-season games though, one would have to say that our new young Matteo Guendouzi has looked one of the most impressive newcomers we have seen for a while, and he is very keen to fight for a place in the starting line-up.

“Yes I hope to play, that’s true but this is a big squad, with a lot of great players with a lot of experience,” Guendouzi said. “It’s a question of working, working, working, and afterwards the coach will make his choices.

“But I hope to play a few games. It’s a great environment to work in, we’re working really well in training and we’re playing well in the matches.

“But it’s only the start. Hopefully this will be a big adventure with Arsenal.

“These are only friendly matches so I need to keep working – that’s the most important thing for the future I hope to have at Arsenal.”

Well the 19 year-old has certainly given Emery a selection headache with his performances so far, and I would probably say that with the choices we have right now we would hardly even notice if Ramsey left!

It will take a while for the new coach to find the best line-up out of that lot, but which four would you pick as our best midfield to start against Man City?

Sam P


  1. Nicholas says:

    Torreira Maitland-Niles and Guendouzi

    Torriera wins and recycles possession Maitland Niles as a box to box and Guendozi to bring it out of defence and link play

    all three players I trust more than ramsey elneny and xhaka who I wouldn’t care if we sold

    1. l says:

      The younger lads are yet to show consistency and competitive games’ output for them to be considered as challengers for first team. I wonder why all these talk about the lads as a result friendlies. This isn’t the first season young lads are showing potentials in pre seasons, even Sanogo was a hat-trick producer in pre-season.

      From the current squad, I think Ramsey, Xhaka, El-neny and Torreira are the main players for DM CM position. Guendouzi, AMN and Willock will be their under studies. For attacking mid field, we have Ozil, Mhki, Iwobi as contestants. Rowe and Nelson as under study. In attack, we have Auba, Laca and Welbeck. Nkieta as their understudy. I see Willock as the only player to go on loan from the names above. And is because we don’t have surpluses as many think. Torreira and Guendouzi only replaced Wilshere, Carzola and Coqueline. Our attack will be light if Perez should be sold.

      1. OzzieGunner says:

        I think its a bit early to overhype young players and say they should replace seasoned internationals at the start of a new season. However that’s not to say that positions in the Arsenal starting 11 should be based on anything other than performance.

    2. Zach says:

      Can’t agree more sir

    3. GunnerJack says:

      Almost agree but think it would be better to start with Miki for his experience. I don’t think Guendouzi is expecting to start but can look forward to being brought on fairly regularly. GD can be a great sub for both AMN and Miki. Agree totally with your selling choices.

  2. LENOhappy says:

    Why not,kylian mbappe was an 18 year old boy when he won the Ligue1 and got to the champions league semifinals,so I believe in him, :off topic,I was reading an article on arseblog,where some fans was saying that lacazzete is a better striker than aubamayang??though it’s my opinion,but I will take aubamayang over lacazzete all day

    1. Diana says:

      Aub is by far a better striker than Laca. I do say though that it doesn’t mean Laca is a push over. I think this comparison comes because people don’t know how to effectively use both Aub and Laca. While Aub is relatively strong on the wing (maybe 20 goals a season), he would be deadly if played as the main striker (30-35 goals easily- 25 league ones). If the Dembele rumours prove to be true, though i am not holding my breath, i would actually play 4-14-1 with a 3-5-2 as a back up formation. But all indications that i am seeing are we actually will be using the Arsenal default- 4-2-3-1 unless otherwise needed. Will see. Can the league start already

      1. Dalinho says:

        ………………. aubameyung

  3. Innit says:

    He looked really good.
    Great stamina, bags of enthusiasm and covers the pitch well (lots of running).
    I like him.

    So it’s def possible.
    Age shouldn’t be a barrier if you are good enough.
    But def keep him here. He should gain experience with us not on loan.

    1. Innit says:

      Actually since Torreira just started training , im not sure he will start against City. If he doesn’t Id give Guendouzi a try over El Neny.
      I know its a bit risky but he looked really good. But hope Torreira starts

      1. gotanidea says:


        I don’t think Torreira, Lichtsteiner and Monreal would be physically fit against Man City

        Torreira still has language barrier as well

        1. OzzieGunner says:

          What language barrier – he speaks Spanish, the same as Unai Emery, Monreal and Bellerin?

        2. Jesmy says:

          If Monreal doesn’t start againt City then our left back position is in trouble. Kolasinac can only play well as a wing back not as a left back. Plus its high time Emery picks his first choice central defenders before City game. Because I think Sokratis and Mustafi are one and the same in terms of agility.

      2. Sean says:

        TORREIRA will have 13 days of training. That is enough for the season. I will play our best ever possible lineup against city. No messing about

        1. Diana says:

          The challenge is we may lose the best to injury if there are rushed and are not physically ready. Remember Emery expects a physically intense game. But if and only if Emery’s staff approve, then a combination of Torreira and Geundozzi would be perfect with captain Ozil running the show in front of them, and Monreal playing LB. Then Perez, Ramsey and Xhaka can come in as super subs.

          I hope we dont waste Ozil on the wing because while he can make it work, his ability is best show cased when he is playing through the middle (proper 10).

          1. Kenny Rolfe says:

            Another good post Diana, you talk a lot of sense

      3. Madawa says:

        Yes, the guy has done well in the pre-season matches, but to start the league at high note, let us have Rambo, Meitland and Ozil as our midfielders if we will apply 4-3-3, na Ab- Lac- Mik in front

  4. Durand says:

    Decision making, passing, linking up, positioning, team first attitude. It’s all there, not sure what more to ask of the kid.

    Has he put a foot wrong yet? I know it’s preseason, but he’s looked much sharper and more involved than some of our older and more experienced players.

    If you’re good enough age shouldn’t matter

    1. Sean says:

      Of course he did twice in last game or so. He have the ball away in the box buy it is preseason as you said. The lad has bunch of energy and he is good to go though. I will play him with Torreira

      1. Ozilla says:

        My only concern is he looked very weak. Any time he came under heavy pressure he’d fall over and not show any strength. The intensity and high pressure of City will be much different then these preseason games

        1. GunnerJack says:

          He fell when he was fouled and/or off balance – as all players do. You don’t have to be built like Kola or Sokratis to play well and hold your own.

  5. gotanidea says:

    I think Emery would start Ozil, Bellerin, Mustafi and the other experienced players for that match:

    Bellerin . Sokratis . Mustafi . Kolasinac
    ……….Guendouzi …… Elneny
    Mkhitaryan …….Ozil ……….Aubameyang

    Because Torreira, Lichtsteiner and Monreal just joined the training sessions, hence they might not be ready to start

    1. gotanidea says:

      Sorry I think Ramsey would start ahead of Guendouzi

    2. Karl says:

      Elneny instead of Ramsey?

  6. Simon Williams says:

    In a word – Yes.

    Looks superb. I agree with others, we don’t need to nurse players just because they under 25. He’s good enough to start.

    I’d play him against Chelsea as another good pre-season test.

  7. Kinda too early for all this Guendozi hype and line-up inclusions. Didn’t Mavropanos start this way only to get red-carded and cost us a game? Guendozi got robbed in the box versus PSG and if it weren’t for Cech we would have surely paid for it. He isn’t ready me thinks!

    1. Declan says:

      Fab4 started for us at 16.

    2. ClassyGunner says:

      Is his career over if he gets red-carded? A mistake does not prove anything. He will be a great defender.

    3. RSH says:

      yeah, people forget he had actually more than one bad giveaway in our own area. He’s still only 19 and still developing. I’d hate for him to get thrown into the deep end against City and then lose confidence. He should no doubt start Europa League games though and I would like to see him get a good amount of starts in EPL as well. I think he can compete for a position but just like with Smith Rowe, it’s better not to just jump on the hype train because of preseason form

      1. OzzieGunner says:


  8. Really interesting, Guendouzi has been superb, but one thing of note he is not a DM, he is what we call a deep lying play-maker with defensive duties so therefore he is a more like Xhaka, Ramsey and AMN are box to box midfielders, the only true DMs available in the team are Torreira and Elneny.

    Base on that reasoning last season we hardly played without a DM, Elneny being the only one. So it is going to be left to the coach to see who he uses in our midfield. According to most Torreira is the first name down but let us wait and see

    1. ozilking says:

      @ ruelandohysical, calling elneny a proper dm is suicidal, he lacks strength ,stamina and defencive decision making. he was bought in as a CM bor Wenger converted to DM,after we lost couquelin

  9. LoySupremo says:

    Risky but Its not a bad idea. Its a debut game against a team that has one of the best midfield combinations in England.
    Its super super risky but its not a bad idea. But if he plays, he should not play as a Defensive midfielder but as a CM.

  10. Shekar233 says:

    OT. I just saw the premiere league standings in google ..i was surprises to see Bournemouth in first above arsenal.

    Isnt arsenal first in the league before the first round of matches?

    Last i checked ‘B’ comes after ‘A’ as per the english alphabet.

    Google is depriving our chance to be on top of the table. #Googleout :p

    1. Bongani says:

      If he is that good he has to start, age is not a factor but we are only after good performance.

    2. Tatgooner says:

      afc bournemouth

      1. Declan says:

        Yes Tat that’s why I look at the BBC tables with us on top at present?

        1. nassan says:

          afc arsenal


  12. George says:

    among our midfielders to be frank who is better than Ramsey. he won player of the year last season,was he the only player there then when he won? he is also a big game player like Sanchez

    1. Walter says:

      Stop talking about Sanchez right now..he is a Man Utd player let focus on our own

  13. waal2waal says:

    re: Matteo Guendouzi – at only 19yrs best to introduce him to premier league football gradually. im glad he’s in the fold as a promising young gunner. although regarding his development we need to give him a season to gauge whether he has the character to handle himself here in the tough as hell epl.

    contrary to what others may think (here) i don’t want to his spirit broken by exposing him to away games at either goodison park, anfield, etihad, old trafford, stamford bridge; although he appears mature in physique i still see he’s very much a boy (emphasis). could it be my fatherly instinct here…

    ..but for this reason his development must be gradual and tempered. can he keep his composure when those harder tacklers target him, some would throw him in the deep end to see how he copes; how is his composure and mindset if thrown into a london derbies, ars vs spuds? how will he respond to fans from the degenerate and foul mouthed elements of the lumpen proletariat? we’re not sure yet whether he can even handle our own fans attention or media expectation.

    so personally, i would save him rather than give this talented kid a premiership baptism by fire. im not so sure we even see many his age put to the test in regular midfield lineups at his age.

  14. John Rambo says:

    Ramsey is possibly our best big game player. He never hides and never stops running ( he’s won the junior triathlon ffs! ). In a flat three its miki, lucas and ramsey all day for me. The work rate there is just insane not to mention creativity. Auba and laca can share the goal scoring responsibility with mesut floating in behind them. It sorta looks like a midfield diamond. Matteo is ramsey’s understudy and amn is miki’s. Xhaka, mo and lucas can rotate since the new boss does that a whole lot. Smith-rowe can add width in games where the opposition plays compact and narrow. The team depth and tactical variety is looking quite decent though i must admit.

  15. Gifted says:

    Talking of young players, maybe we should include Emile Smith Rowe in our line ups too..Afterall, if Mbappe was introduced to the world at 18, why not do the same with our wonderkid?

  16. Babasola says:

    there’s an excitement about seeing youngsters blossom
    this makes for overhyping especially with we arsenal’s fan
    never saw what the hype about Mavropanos was
    U think Mustafi is bad? Maybe, cos he plays against Warriors every week
    U think Xhaka is bad? He plays against coldblooded professionals
    Yet u think Maitland, Mavrapanos and every Youngster from our ranks will just cut it.
    Once in a while some Youngsters surprise
    But stop overhyping every Youngster, if he’s good he’ll be outshining the Seniors steadily already.
    That’s how Mbappe cut it, that how Fab did

  17. RSH says:

    Nobody can possibly know the answer because he hasn’t kicked a ball in EPL. Better to not take the risk opening day against the likes of Man City though, but that’s Emery’s call.

    1. I sort of agree, Nelson and Mav are fantastic prospects I would have no trouble having them on the bench and bringing them into the team gradually to tie down a regular spot,
      Terra is a must play, I dont rate Elneny, Xhaka or Mustafi and Ramsey appears to have his mind elsewhere, however this is the team I would go with v City.
      Leno, Monreal,Socratis, Mustafi Bellerin, Torreira,Ozil Guendouzi, Ramsey,Mikha,Auba.

  18. Fidel O says:

    Been listening to all these ‘nay’ sayers about Gundo not ready. It is preposterous. I may ask haw old and experienced was Frabregas, when he was thrown into the river infested with snakes and scorpions? Haw old was Sane(M.City) when he was thrown into the crocodile infested waters of the champions league where he scored a fabulous goal against real Madrid? Or, who was Kante when Lesester brought him, would u have taken any gamble on him being the great baller today?……why can’t we just stay calm and watch haw he is unbundled by Emery. For me, I see him as not the next ‘who’ but I see him as the real DEAL.Forget mistakes that he made here and there, great players all make one as well. Take my word, Guendo, will start Premiership games and push Elneny to whatever game that maybe available. As Zhaka, he already know what is after him or ahead . Torrerie, umm, he definitely ownes that DM.

  19. corea says:

    …I think i agreed with Rsh

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