Matteo Guendouzi: A Love Letter

First, this is awkward, but it must be addressed. Hector, it was several years ago I spotted you from across the pitch. It was preseason. Your youthful enthusiasm and talent lit up the pitch. Stretching runs forward from a wide position with an unexpected pace were finished off with precision crosses that peppered the opponent's 18 yard box. Your boyish charm and wide-eyed innocence were a delight. "He's going to start!" I exclaimed before a serious ball had been kicked for Arsenal.

Since that time you have become a staple in the starting 11. Your boyish charm has been replaced by a mature metal of vigor and intensity. You've grown facial hair, presented the world with your version of a man bun, and even inked a full sleeve. Alas Hector, we've grown apart. You have amassed 1.5 million followers on Twitter. No longer are you the prospect I spotted on the side of the pitch, but a full blown soccer star. I must let you go, and share you with the world. But it doesn't mean I won't be here for you, cheering every defensive recovery run. And I will gaze with delight when you bomb forward on an overlap to catch the defense out. When you finally take your place in the Spanish National team starting 11, I will look back with fond memories of the days when you were fighting for a chance on the Arsenal pitch. You will always have a place in my footballing heart!

Alas, I have found another young footballer that needs my support and attention. Matteo Guendouzi, you've been hidden away in the French Ligue 2. How .. Why .. Could the footballing gods hide a player like you from the world for so long? Perhaps it was destiny for you to arrive at Arsenal in such a desperate time of need. Our French patriarch dispatched! Now a young French boy has come to our squad with enthusiasm and bravery. I saw you in the middle of the park recently. Your giant hair foretelling the expanse of your soccer abilities. Then it happened Matteo. A bold strike forward with perfect weight and keen insight was unleashed from your feet. I looked again! Another ball struck with intent and confidence in a decisive manner. AGAIN! A searching through-ball guided the receiver to his final destination and triumphant destiny. It was beautiful magic! And now I proclaim, "There is no way Arsenal will keep you off the pitch!" You are needed! You are wanted! You will be loved! I'm in love! The magic at your feet in the middle of the pitch has me excited once again to be an Arsenal fan.

Thank you for indulging me. This kid is special. Go You GUNNERS!

Jay Fratt
Arsenal Fan
Guendouzi Fanboy