Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi has thanked Unai Emery for showing him confidence in the early stages of his career at the club.

The young Frenchman arrived at the Emirates in the summer from Ligue 2 side Lorient and was widely expected to slot into the club’s youth setup, given his inexperience.

However, Emery made the surprising decision to include him regularly in his first-team plans in the opening fixtures of the season. Since then, Guendouzi has continued to progress and is now an important player for Arsenal.

As quoted by Football London, the 19-year-old discussed the influence of Emery following his appointment in the summer and praised the Spaniard for handing him the chance to shine.

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He’s shown plenty of confidence in me since I arrived here. Not any coach would throw a 19-year-old youngster into Premier League action, particularly at a club like Arsenal.

I’m very grateful to him for that. He’s making me work hard and has already helped me improve considerably since I arrived. I could feel that even in the first few training sessions over my first few weeks and months.

Competition for places in the midfield is stiff at Arsenal but Guendouzi appears to be firmly in the thoughts of Emery as he continues to build for the future in North London.

He’s a very good coach. That goes for his staff as well and they all work well together. We have everything in place to progress both individually and collectively.

I’m very pleased to have Unai Emery as my coach. I’m convinced I’ll be able to make progress under him by working hard, which is the most important thing for me.