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Soccer: Lorient's Guendouzi becomes Arsenal's fifth signing under Emery

Reuters 2018-07-11 16:34:05

(Reuters) - Arsenal have continued their busy close season transfer activity by signing midfielder Matteo Guendouzi from French Ligue 2 side Lorient for an undisclosed fee, the Premier League club announced on Wednesday.

France youth international Guendouzi is new Arsenal manager Unai Emery’s fifth signing and follows defenders Stephan Lichtsteiner and Sokratis Papastathopoulos, goalkeeper Bernd Leno as well as midfielder Lucas Torreira into the club.

“Arsenal have always been the team closest to my heart and a side I’ve wanted to join since I was a child,” Guendouzi told the club’s website.

“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.”

The 19-year-old began his career at Paris Saint Germain’s academy before joining Lorient’s academy in 2014. He made his debut for the Ligue 2 side two years ago and went on to make 30 appearances for them.

“He is a talented young player and a lot of clubs were interested in him,” said Emery, who in May became Arsenal’s first new manager in 22 years following the departure of Arsene Wenger at the end of last season.

“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.”

Arsenal, who finished sixth last season, host defending champions Manchester City in the opening match of the new league campaign on Aug. 12.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge