Marseille’s Mattéo Guendouzi: “It’s not easy to be on the bench… you feel powerless.”

Speaking ahead of Olympique de Marseille’s Ligue 1 tie against SCO Angers on Sunday, Mattéo Guendouzi (24) opened up about the mental impact of his decreased role at the club in recent weeks, whilst also revealing discussions with Les Phocéens’ Sporting Director Javier Ribalta.

Since making his loan move from Arsenal to Marseille permanent in the summer for a reported €11m, Guendozui has played 40 times for the club, scoring five goals and registering five assists. The former FC Lorient man has also been a fixture in Didier Deschamps’ France squad lists, however, in recent weeks, he has seen himself fall down the pecking order at the club. 

Guendouzi has started the last four games on the bench and hasn’t made it onto the pitch on two occasions. His regression in the pecking order comes amidst major speculation of a summer departure. According to Foot MercatoMarseille have decided to sell Guendouzi this summer, and teams such as Aston Villa and West Ham United are amongst those rumoured to be interested in bringing the Frenchman back to the Premier League.

Asked about his personal situation in a pre-match press conference, transcribed by L’ÉquipeGuendouzi responded, “I don’t demand anything at all. I have a contract (until 2025). I have always faced my responsibilities, both on and off the pitch. I have commitments, and I’ll keep to them until the end. Obviously, it isn’t easy to be on the bench, I have always wanted to help the team and you feel powerless. But I can bring a lot to the team when I’m called upon. I will always give everything on the pitch,” said the France international. 

Asked whether he had had a discussion with the club’s Sporting Director (Ribalta), Guendouzi replied, “Yes, I had a discussion with him. It was a normal conversation like many players have with the Sporting Director or Director of Football. I have always been sincere, and someone who says things face-to-face. It is always with the objective of moving forward together, before prioritising my personal situation.”

GFFN | Luke Entwistle

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