Arsenal have completed the signing of Lorient midfielder Matteo Guendouzi. The 19-year-old moves for a fee that was being reported in France at the weekend as being €8million (£7million).
The France youth international becomes Arsenal’s fifth signing of the summer following the arrival of goalkeeper Bernd Leno, central defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos, full-back Stephane Lichtsteiner and midfielder Lucas Torreira.
The Gunners have beaten off interest from Paris Saint-Germain, the club where Guendouzi began his career.
“We are delighted Matteo is joining us,” Arsenal boss Unai Emery told the club’s official website. “He is a talented young player and a lot of clubs were interested in him. He has big potential and gained good first-team experience last season with Lorient. He wants to learn and improve and will be an important part of our first-team squad.”
Guendouzi made his debut for Lorient in the 2016-17 campaign and went on to make nine appearances for the club as they were relegated from France’s top flight. He played 20 times in Ligue 2 last season.
Speaking to the official Arsenal website Guendouzi revealed he has followed the club since he was a child.
“It’s something I’m immensely proud of. Arsenal have always been the team closest to my heart and a side I’ve wanted to join since I was a child. 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.
“My hope is to become a top player here at Arsenal. A lot of great players have played here. I want to become part of the club’s history and to achieve great things here. I want to win titles, titles, titles. I want to establish myself here, which would be amazing. Winning silverware, as I said, is very important to me and winning things here at Arsenal would be incredible.”
Guendouzi, who will wear the number 29 shirt at Arsenal, has now teamed up with the France squad for the European Under-19 championships that begin in Finland next week.