Lazio: Mattéo Guendouzi puts Serie A under his belt


By: Manu Tournoux

Accustomed to roller coasters in his career, Mattéo Guendouzi (24 years old) has always proven that he is capable of bouncing back when less expected. Relaunched in Marseille after a difficult end to the journey at Arsenal and a loan of some kind to Hertha Berlin, the French midfielder, a finalist for the 2022 World Cup, left the Marseille club in a bitter failure. His missed penalty against Panathinaikos in the third preliminary round of the Champions League deprived the Marseillais of qualifying for the biggest European competition. Having left through the back door to Lazio against a check for 1 million and a conditional purchase obligation of 13 million euros + 5 bonuses, Mattéo Guendouzi had to start from scratch or almost.

Within the Eternal City, he quickly gained the trust of Maurizio Sarri who made him one of his strong men in his 4-3-3. “I feel good here, I’m progressing a lot, we’ve been playing very well for a few months. If we continue like this we can beat a lot of teams, we have to stay focused on what we have to do to win. I’m here to win.” he explained again a few weeks ago. Qualified in the round of 16 of the C1 and having to challenge Bayern Munich, the midfielder survived the complicated start to the season for the Biancocelesti in Serie A, who are ninth, six lengths from the top 4. Present in the Italian Super Cup and quarter-finalist of the Italian Cup, Lazio had a delay in starting, but remains in the game, partly thanks to the Frenchman.

Euro 2024 in the sights?

Remaining on two victories against Empoli (2-0) and Frosinone (3-1), Lazio found the ideal player to support Luis Alberto and Nicolo Rovella. Orphaned by the departure of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to Al-Hilal, Lazio found a very different profile, but which allowed it to remain competitive with Mattéo Guendouzi (23 matches played, 2 goals and 1 sacrifice). He has such ease in covering the ground, but also quality in ball circulation, in addition to being a box-to-box player. He is a complete player, mentally fresh, who plays with a certain carefreeness. It will not be long before he returns to the selection, his sports director Angelo Fabiani declared about him in The Team.

Precisely, the subject of the French team comes up recurrently for the native of Poissy who has not been called up with the Blues since the 2022 World Cup. Pre-summoned in November, he reacted in particular to this subject for Téléfoot : “I know that I am one of those players who are monitored regularly by the coach. Afterwards, it will be up to me to work, to be even better and to progress. So, it’s still in my head obviously. But it’s going to be up to me to be the best I can be to be called up.” If he will have to deal with a lot of competition (Eduardo Camavinga, Adrien Rabiot, Aurélien Tchouaméni, Warren Zaïre-Emery or even Youssouf Fofana), Mattéo Guendouzi shines brightly a few months before Euro 2024. It’s up to him to continue on this lineage to hope to find the Blues. With “Bleus Ciels” on the other hand, Mattéo Guendouzi creates the perfect love story.

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