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23 February 2024

Teenager Guendouzi achieves childhood dream in joining Arsenal


French teenage midfielder Matteo Guendouzi says he wants to become part of the history of Premier League side Arsenal after signing for them on Wednesday for a fee reported to be £7million ($9.2million).

The 19-year-old - Arsenal's fifth signing since Unai Emery was appointed Arsene Wenger's successor in late May - joins from Ligue 2 outfit Lorient

Guendouzi, who began his career in the youth system at Paris Saint Germain before moving to Lorient in 2014, told Arsenal's website for him the move is a dream come true.

"Arsenal have always been the team closest to my heart and a side I've wanted to join since I was a child," said Guendouzi.

"It gives me great pride - it's incredible. I hope I can do great things here.

"It doesn't get any better than coming to a club like this, with so much history, like Arsenal. I'm hugely proud.

"I want to become part of the club's history and to achieve great things here."

Emery, who was appointed to the Gunners post after he lost his job at Paris Saint Germain, said Arsenal had fended off several other clubs in securing the signature of Guendouzi, who has been capped at three different age categories by France.

"He is a talented young player and a lot of clubs were interested in him," said Emery.

"He has big potential and gained good first-team experience last season with Lorient (in all he made 26 appearances since he made his debut in 2016).

"He wants to learn and improve and will be an important part of our first-team squad."

Guendouzi joins Uruguayan international midfielder Lucas Torreira, veteran Swiss defender Stephan Lichtsteiner, German goalkeeper Bernd Leno and experienced Greek defender Sokratis Papastathopouloss as new arrivals at the Gunners.