Matteo Guendouzi admits surprise after maiden France call-up

Arsenal
midfielder Matteo Guendouzi has acknowledged that he was surprised after
earning a call-up to the France senior squad for the first time. The
20-year-old was expected to represent the France under-21s during the
international break but an injury to Paul Pogba meant that he was handed with
his maiden call-up to Didier Deschamps’ squad.

Speaking
to FFF, Guendouzi revealed the incidents which happened in the lead up to him
knowing about the call from Deschamps. He added that it has always been a dream
to represent the World Cup champions and he can’t describe the experience
through words, he told: “I was having an afternoon nap, someone knocked at my
door, but I didn’t hear it, because I was asleep. Then the coach (Sylvain
Ripoll) rang me, he said it was me who knocked etc, so I went to see him
directly.

“We need
to speak, I really like you, but you need to go. I was confused, I was like,
where?”He said: ‘The A-team.’ In my head, I was like ‘wow’,
I didn’t believe it initially because 10 minutes earlier I was sleeping. I thought
I was still in a dream. This is a dream of mine since I was a kid. This is
extraordinary, I think that any French player would want to be in this team. It
is ginormous. There aren’t enough words to describe how it feels.”

Guendouzi has made immense progress since joining the Gunners from Lorient 13 months ago and he recently produced one of the best performances in the club’s shirt. Arsenal found themselves 2-0 down to Tottenham Hotspur in the north London derby but they managed to scrape a draw at the end after some fine bit of play from Guendouzi.

The youngster was partly responsible for Lacazette’s goal after dispossessing the opponent with the high pressing. He continued to remain a dominant figure during the course of the second period and managed to contribute a sublime defence splitting assist for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s equaliser. The performance would surely have caught the attention of Deschamps.