Matteo Guendouzi has played a major role in William Saliba’s decision to join Marseille this summer.
Both players have been told by Mikel Arteta that there is no room for them in his squad this season at Arsenal.
It has come as a surprise to some after the departure of David Luiz, who was a key player for the Gunners and leaves big boots to fill in defence.
Yet Arsenal are pursuing Brighton star Ben White in a deal that could amass £50m while Saliba is set for another move away despite impressing with Nice last season.
Guendouzi, on the other hand, has just confirmed his exit from Arsenal in a heartfelt message – where he snubs Arteta and has since deleted.
The midfielder is on the brink of joining Marseille after undergoing a medical with the Ligue 1 outfit.
And he looks set to bring Saliba with him, who is close pals with his compatriot.
The 20-year-old had several loan offers on the table, including from Newcastle, Nice and Lille.
But according to L’Equipe, via GFFN, Saliba only wanted to sign for Marseille with Guendouzi playing a major role – which could spell disaster for Arteta further down the line.
The centre-back has been remarked as one of the best talents the country has produced in years – a high accolade considering the number of world-class players that have come up through the French academies over the past decade.
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Yet he is never played a single minute for Arsenal and was even left out of their Europa League squad last season.
Many fans have been left bemused by Arteta’s treatment of the youngster and even the player himself has criticised the Gunners coach over his management.
Guendouzi’s own relationship with the Spaniard has been well-documented following a bust-up last summer.
It saw the midfielder ostracised from the squad and a heated moment against Brighton with Neal Maupay was his last appearance for the north London club before being jetted off to Hertha Berlin.
Now the ex-Lorient star has Saliba’s ear and can convince him to leave Arsenal altogether, which could be a major blow should he fulfil his potential.