MATTEO GUENDOUZI has been warned: grow up or you will throw away your Arsenal career.
The stark wake-up call came from his friend and former Arsenal man Jeremie Aliadiere after the youngster was involved in a bust-up with Mikel Arteta earlier in the season.
A clash on the training ground during the club’s winter break training camp in Dubai left Guendouzi in the bad books with the boss and his coaching staff.
And now Aliadiere – who spent eight years with Arsenal and played with Guendouzi as he came through at Lorient – is desperate for his French compatriot to mature off the field just as he has on it.
He told Goal: “Listen, I’m a big fan of the guy.
“He’s like my little brother and I always told him that Arsenal would be a very good team for his development as a player and as a human being.
“He took my advice and came to the club, but I just feel Matteo hasn’t grown up as a human being yet.
“He’s grown up as a player, he’s matured massively as a player and every year he gets better.
“But unfortunately as a man, he hasn’t grown and matured as much as I thought he would by joining Arsenal.
“I think that’s what he’s missing and that’s why he’s not playing as much under Mikel because Mikel is not really up for that.
“He wants players who are going to do a job for the team and do what they ask him to do. If they are not happy to do that, then he will have someone else do it for him.”
Guendouzi, 21, took Aliadiere’s advice and signed for the Gunners in 2018 for £7million on a four-year contract.
He has already racked up 80 appearances for the Emirates side, often getting the nod over fellow holding midfielder Lucas Torreira as talk of a new contract emerged.
The France Under-21 international boasts an impressive tally of 74 tackles, 57 interceptions and 271 recoveries in his 55 English top-flight matches.
But in the three Premier League games since the spat with the coaching staff in February, Guendouzi has managed just eight minutes of action.
He was completely left out of the league matchday squad for the first time all season against Newcastle, replaced Mesut Ozil late on in the win over Everton and then was an unused substitute against West Ham.