Sky Sports pundit and former Arsenal playmaker Charlie Nicholas has called for Matteo Guendouzi to be dropped by Unai Emery.
Nicholas feels the Frenchman is escaping more criticism because of the Granit Xhaka situation, hinting that he is hiding behind it slightly.
He told Sky Sports: “Matteo Guendouzi is having a shocker and he is getting away with it due to Xhaka – he needs to be taken out of the team. I would rather Unai Emery go with Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Lucas Torreira.
This is his normal position, so let them be the legs in front of you. Mesut Ozil played well so he should stay in the side ahead of Dani Ceballos, while bringing Nicolas Pepe in for the counter-attack.”
TBR’s View – Guendouzi experiencing the ups and downs of a young player and little more
There was plenty of excited chatter about Guendouzi in the early part of the season, when he was held up as everything Xhaka wasn’t and the future of Arsenal’s midfield.
Now, with the team struggling and the fixtures mounting up, Nicholas has gone in hard on the midfielder, when really he is just experiencing the inconsistencies which are to be expected from a young player at a top club.
Guendouzi next to Lucas Torreira at the back of midfield looks like a combative duo capable of providing a stronger barrier for the defence than Joe Willock and Dani Ceballos did on Wednesday afternoon.