Matteo Guendouzi pledges allegiance to France in excellent news for ArsenalNovember 20, 2018
ARSENAL midfielder Matteo Guendouzi remains keen on representing France at senior international level, despite interest from Morocco.
Born in the Paris suburb of Poissy but with a Moroccan father, the 19-year-old is eligible for both nations.
Having already been capped at Under-18, Under-19 and Under-20 level, Guendouzi has made his first France Under-21 appearances during the current international break.
And therefore he has no intention of turning his back on the world champions.
He told Canal+ after his second outing against Spain: “Since I was young, I’ve always played with the French teams.
“It’s a dream to play with the France senior team. And I’m hoping to get there, it’s a dream for me to make it happen.”
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France manager Didier Deschamps was reportedly considering calling Guendouzi up for October’s friendly against Iceland and Nations League clash with Germany.
Had he played against Joachim Low’s side it would have ended any uncertainty over his international future.
But Deschamps eventually decided against the move though France remain the front-runner for his services.
Morocco have not given up on Guendouzi, with French-born coach Herve Renard having arranged to meet with the player’s father to discuss his plans
However, Guendouzi senior did not turn up to the meeting which infuriated Renard.
The Atlas Lions want him to commit to them in time for the Africa Cup of Nations, which takes place in Cameroon next summer.
Renard’s side secured their place in the tournament over the weekend but they’re unlikely to take to the field with Guendouzi in toe.
The competition takes place between June 15 and July 6, which will lead to several players missing the start of pre-season for their clubs.
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane could be among those players, with Egypt and Senegal having secured passage to the finals.
And though Mohamed Elneny may be involved for the Pharaohs next summer, as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s Gabon face an anxious wait to discover their fate, Guendouzi looks likely to escape.
After signing from Lorient as a relative unknown during the summer, Guendouzi begun the season as first choice in the Arsenal midfield.
And though Lucas Torreira has since been preferred from the start alongside Granit Xhaka, he has still made 15 appearances in all competitions.