Matteo Guendouzi’s place in France squad under threat from Igor Tudor disagreements

In the blink of an eye, Matteo Guendouzi’s (25) season has begun to unravel just as the Frenchman had earned a place back into the national team setup

The midfielder had joined Lazio on loan during the summer from Olympique de Marseille, with the Roman club holding an option to purchase the player. It looked fairly certain that the club would activate this option, with Guendouzi having impressed the Serie A side throughout the season. 

He had become an indispensable figure under Maurizio Sarri, but with the former Napoli and Chelsea manager resigning last month from his post, Guendouzi was faced with a familiar face from Marseille. Igor Tudor was lined up as Sarri’s replacement, and the simmering tensions that had defined last season when both had occupied La Provence were quickly reignited. 

Guendouzi was dropped for Tudor’s first game in charge against Juventus, and while the Frenchman came on for the final ten minutes and played a key role in helping to facilitate the winning goal, his celebration was telling. Guendouzi did not immediately celebrate with his teammates and instead turned towards Lazio’s bench where he made a gesture towards his new manager. 

Trouble in paradise for Matteo Guendouzi and Igor Tudor

He was picked for the following two games which Lazio lost (against Juventus in the Coppa Italia and the derby against Roma) but was then dropped for the match against Salernitana last weekend, officially for a calf injury but reports have suggested there was another reason for his absence. 

During training last week, Tudor and Guendouzi had a confrontation, with the Frenchman reportedly sent to train with the reserves. And while one part of this story has been confirmed by Lazio, the club’s sporting director was vehement when speaking to Radiosei, that “there are disagreements that are being resolved. He only has a calf strain and is training with those who are recovering from injuries.”

All of this leaves Guendouzi in a difficult situation ahead of the Euros. The midfielder had only just earned his place back in the France squad due to his consistent performances for Lazio, and now with his future in the team under threat due to his relationship with Tudor, his place with Didier Deschamps’s squad could also suffer. 

GFFN | Nick Hartland

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