Hertha Berlin’s sporting director Arne Friedrich has revealed that Arsenal academy manager Per Mertesacker recommended they sign Matteo Guendouzi on loan.
Guendouzi fell out of favour under manager Mikel Arteta post-lockdown and did not make a single match day squad after he was involved in a clash with Brighton striker Neal Maupay back in June.
The 21-year-old subsequently completed a loan switch to Hertha in October, after Mertesacker gave a glowing recommendation to his former international team-mate Friedrich.
Speaking about the impact that Guendouzi has made, Friedrich said: “He’s a fantastic player. We spoke to Arsenal before the transfer obviously, and I also spoke to Per Mertesacker, with whom I played in the national team.
“Our relationship is very honest, very transparent, and he had already said that he has such good quality and he’s showed it already.
“From the first day when he came here to Germany onwards, he had to go into quarantine… I don’t know what happened, I think either him or someone else tested positive so he had to sit in the hotel for the first two weeks here in a brand new city.
“He was so professional and we brought him some gear, a bike to work on and he was really, really ambitious to get on the field as soon as possible.
“Ever since, every day he shows in practice what a good player he is. He’s so calm. He wants every single ball, even under pressure. He has his own understanding that he wants to win games.
“He has this intrinsic motivation to just show the world how good he is. This is what we need, this is what everybody needs and he is highly confident, which is also very important for our team because our team is still looking for structure.
“We are very, very happy to have him here and he’s worth every penny.”