Lazio U-turn on Guendouzi, despite Aston Villa and Newcastle interest


La Gazzetta dello Sport report that Matteo Guendouzi stands at a crossroads with Lazio, and could yet remain with the club. The recent coaching change at the club has significant implications for the French midfielder’s future. Under Igor Tudor, Guendouzi was keen to leave, largely due to lingering tensions from their time together at Marseille. Tudor’s departure, however, has shifted the landscape. Now, under Marco Baroni, Guendouzi is poised to become a central figure in Lazio’s plans.

Gazzetta detail how arriving in late August, Guendouzi quickly earned Maurizio Sarri’s trust, filling the challenging role left by Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. His performances, marked by skill, generosity, and grit, won over the fans. In Sarri’s 4-3-3 formation, Guendouzi was a key player on the right side of midfield. Reflecting on Sarri’s departure in March, Guendouzi expressed his surprise and gratitude for the tactical growth he experienced under Sarri, saying, “In seven months, he made me grow a lot tactically. Before, I was less disciplined and tended to run all over the place. Now I know how to position myself better and conserve energy.”

However, the transition to Tudor’s 3-4-2-1 formation left Guendouzi without a clear role, resulting in him losing his starting spot. Despite this, Lazio remained confident in his potential, completing his permanent transfer from Marseille for a total of 18 million euros.

With Marco Baroni at the helm, Guendouzi is expected to play a pivotal role once more. In Baroni’s 4-2-3-1 system, Guendouzi is likely to be positioned on the right side of midfield, given the freedom to make forward runs. His presence becomes even more crucial considering the departures of Felipe Anderson and Luis Alberto. For President Lotito and sporting director Fabiani, Guendouzi, at just 25 years old, is seen as a cornerstone of Lazio’s future. The arrival of a new coach has seemingly rekindled Guendouzi’s desire to stay.

Despite plans to move forward together, the transfer market presents its challenges. Guendouzi has recently felt the pull of the Premier League again, having previously played for Arsenal from 2018 to 2020. Aston Villa have shown interest, preparing a potential €25 million offer. Newcastle have also entered the fray in recent hours. Although Lazio is reluctant to part with Guendouzi, a €30 million bid might prompt a reconsideration, despite the technical setback his departure would entail. It remains to be seen whether Guendouzi can resist the allure of a Premier League return.


Serie A obsessive.