Unai Emery has revealed he had been following the career of Matteo Guendozi for two years before sanctioning ’s decision to sign him this summer.
The 19-year-old cost just £7million and arrived as a virtual unknown but has quickly established himself at the heart of Emery’s new-look midfield.
After impressing during pre-season, Guendouzi has been an ever-present so far and looks set to keep his place for Saturday’s must-win clash against .
Emery revealed he first spotted the teenager’s potential while he was manager of Paris Saint-Germain and has been delighted by his rapid progress.
‘Two years ago we played against him when he was starting to play for Lorient,he said.
‘Last year he was in Ligue 2 but when the club spoke with me about him, the club had worked and watched him, we agreed and when he arrived here – not the first day, which is very difficult – but after two weeks we spoke and said ‘his performance is a very big surprise’ but also in each training and match we need him to show this progress consistently.
‘Today, he was progressing like the first two weeks, very positive.’
‘He is improving. He is playing and working every day. He is hungry – he wants to improve, he wants to learn every day, every match.
‘He is doing it his way, with character and quality. We are very happy with him but every match is a chance to show this progress with consistency.’