Will Arsenal be made to pay for wasting potential top players? (Opinion)

Arsenal’s transfer decisions over the years are usually questioned, and the prospective departures of Folarin Balogun, Matteo Guendouzi and Mavropanos are all likely to prove as errors.

Charles Watts named both Guendouzi and Mavropanos as players he expects to leave the club on permanent deals this summer in a recent YouTube Q&A, and I can’t help but feel frustrated by that.

The Frenchman is only 21 years-old and has already shown his worth within the first-team squad already, but the manager appears to have closed to the door on him.

I get that his disciplinary record isn’t perfect, and that he and the manager had a falling out, but nobody is perfect, and some of the best players in the world have their attitude problems.

At only 21 years-old, it isn’t outrageous for him to still have growing to do, and maturity to find, but footballing ability isn’t always as easy to find.

Mavropanos already showed he was able to hold his own in the Premier League also, when filling in amidst an injury crisis during his early years in North London, but he hasn’t been given a fair shot since.

Balogun is a difficult one I understand, there is a pecking order and we have endured a difficult season to accommodate rotation, but he showed on the pitch in the Europa League that he at least deserved a chance in the first-team, and bar coming off the bench against Man City in the League Cup, he hasn’t received one.

Surely I’m not alone in seeing massive potential in the trio, and I understand that Balogun’s situation is a lot to do with his playing contract which ends this summer, but surely Arsenal or Mikel Arteta could have done better here?


Tags Balogun Matteo Guendouzi Mavropanos


  1. Good point, GoonerP.
    In fact Mavropanos is the best right footed center back with an Arsenal contract already, but since he came on a cheap the hype and his TransferMarkt value is not in par with Stones and Maguire, while Dinos is either already at their level, ro will be in a year.

  2. Hard to judge or rate players that are not given a chance to get a foot in.

    This season was a perfect one to test Saliba, missed opportunity as we sit comfortably in mid table.

    I hope Mavroporas and Saliba get some games next year, and maybe loan in January if they need sharpening.

    Nelson could use minutes too and see if he can contribute or worth keeping. Hard to juggle giving youth minutes, but club could and should have done better.

    Luiz & Willian have no future with us, so minutes can be better utilized; Holding or Gabriel could be played now so they are better prepared for next season.

  3. I agree totally. How does Arteta build a team for the future playing finished old horses Luiz and Willian? Playing Xhaka for years hasn’t given us the desired results so why not give the likes of Guendouzi an equal opportunity? Despite our attack being stacked with quality Balogun must be given his chance to improve it further. My worry is that Arteta is not an equal opportunity boss.

    1. I understand your reservations but we can’t keep them all. Balogun has Auba Laca Gabriel and Nketia ahead if him. Gabriel and Nketia also itching for their chances. When and where he gets his chance can not be guaranteed thats why he decided to leave.

  4. – Guendouzi: I agree that he has the potential to be a world class player, but we’ve already got many similar midfielders. Rabiot was also hyped to be a future world class midfielder, yet his career hasn’t become better after he made some conflicts in France

    – Mavropanos: The fans seem to have forgotten his bad performances in EPL, especially when he couldn’t contain Benteke. As an example, Kolasinac was considered to be the best Bundesliga LB before he joined us

    – Balogun: I don’t see anything special in him and we’ve got plenty of other young strikers in the reserves. Afobe, Akpom, John-Jules and Nketiah used to be more promising than him

    1. How would you rate Balogun when he was not even given the chance? His movement is superb for the little time he played!

      1. His finishing is excellent, but I don’t see other great skills from him. I predict Martinelli and him would get their chances next season, if Lacazette or Nketiah leaves

    2. Many of our youngsters could well go on to become good premier League standard players. Even one as poor as Guendouzi I wouldn’t write off completely. Ex academy players such as Ayling and Hayden are doing well in the prem so it wouldn’t surprise me if Nketiah, Nelson, Willock, Mavro, Guendo etc did ok too. Problem is throwing them all in the first team all at once is unlikely to work. That’s why many will be sold and just a few kept on. Many fans who want to see a team filled with youngsters would quickly change their tune if the team were struggling. Go back 10 years on sites like these and comments were filled with fans complaining about “Wenger’s experiment” of playing and developing youngsters. The fans then wanted proven players because top 4 wasn’t good enough.

  5. Guendouzi – bye;
    Mavrapanos – I think that ship has sailed.
    Balogun – shame he is going as he offers more than Nketia but I think is attitude is not right.
    Sad to say MA can’t spot a good player so he must have excellent advice around him. Look at Nelson and his opportunities.

  6. Guendouzi dug his own grave with his attitude. If he had apologised(even a fake one ) i’m pretty sure he would have been included in the squad. Plus he is no world class talent and his form had already dropped before that incident.

    Saliba: same as guendouzi that french arrogance
    “I really, really, really didn’t think that I would be transferred for €30 million, to think that I would arrive, where people were expecting a lot from me, the fans excited about me and you find yourself in the reserves, play zero, zero, nothing in the Europa League or the league,” he told Telefoot.

    Seems to me like another kid who believed in his own hype too much. Fan expectation and a big transfer fee make him think he was gonna be a regular on match sheet. I do hope he takes that setback as an opportunity to prove arteta wrong and impresses us next season.

    Mavropanos: dude has been injured most of the time he has been with us so unless we were supposed to play him while injured i don’t how his potential was wasted. He is looking pretty good on loan and most importantly NOT getting injured. Stay fit and he will quickly get matches.

  7. Arteta is simply not good at managing the kids paint it anyhow you want
    Some senior players have done some crazy stuffs too yet are still there week after week….
    No young player has been developed under his watch
    He wants 11 world class players before he can compete always talking about how many positions we need to strengthen when we have strengthened most positions already under his tenure

    1. Arteta just brought in 2 players if i am not mistaken. Which most positions are you going on about?

  8. Locking at arsenal pool of youngster,,I must admit they are super talented..
    They all cannot play at the same time. So integrate them by giving them game time.
    Rome was built timely
    Guanduzi and Balogan are excellent player and I am sure Wenger would be able to manage them
    Arteta needs crash course in “managing players with poor attitudinal traits..he is too rigid as a manager

  9. I don’t think so, most of our money has been wasted over the last years and I can’t see anyone making money anymore since we lost WENGER =)

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