Former Arsenal star, Martin Keown has criticised new manager, Unai Emery for starting young midfielder Matteo Guendouzi in Arsenal’s Premier League 2-0 loss to Manchester City last weekend.
19-year-old Guendouzi was signed from Ligue 1 outfit, Lorient in the summer and the Frenchman started against City after an impressive pre-season.
He endured a mixed time against the reigning champions, however, often finding himself surrounded by City players and losing the ball
Keown said Guendouzi’s performance was ‘gallant’ but has suggested that Emery was wrong to pick the teenager in his starting XI.
“Arsenal still haven’t addressed the issues in midfield,” the former Arsenal and England defender told the Daily Mail.
“The fans have been waiting for many years for a top quality, experienced central midfielder but against Man City, they started a 19-year-old from the French second division.
“Starting Matteo Guendouzi felt like something Arsene Wenger would do. I am not criticising Guendouzi’s performance
“He gave a gallant display and Unai Emery clearly thought he showed enough fight and determination in pre-season to warrant starting over Lucas Torreira.
“But City made life uncomfortable for Guendouzi at times and I did not feel it was the right game to expose such a young player.”
It was goals from Raheem Sterling and Bernarndo Silva either side of half-time that secured the victory for City at the Emirates Stadium.
Keown, meanwhile, expects Arsenal to suffer another defeat this weekend when they make the short trip across London to Chelsea.
Chelsea kick-started the new campaign under new manager Maurizio Sarri, with a 3-0 victory over Huddersfield Town.
“Both teams have had big changes this summer but of the two sides, Chelsea look the more settled,” Keown added. ‘
“I can see them winning 1-0,” he predicted.