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Hertha Berlin coach Labbadia happy with debut of Arsenal midfielder Guendouzi

Hertha Berlin coach Bruno Labbadia was pleased with Matteo Guendouzi's debut for their 1-1 draw with VfL Wolfsburg.

Guendouzi is on a season-long loan at Hertha from Arsenal and came off the bench on Sunday for his first appearance.

The midfielder didn't look out of place, despite his lack of preparation and won praise from his coach in the post-match media conference.

Labbadia told Kicker via Fussball Transfers, "You saw that he is a very good ball player who gives us an aspect that we need: ball security, simple clear passes over four or five metres.

"That has worked well for us. Now of course he has to get into a rhythm, that's something he can't have, we know that, but that's how it is now."

The beginning of Guendouzi's Bundesliga stint was hit by a coronavirus test proving positive after being away on international duty with France U21. However, after serving his quarantine period, the midfielder returned to full-scale training under Labbadia last week.

The youngster did enough to earn a call-up for Sunday's game, though Labbadia admits he was wary throwing him in from the start.

On not playing Guendouzi from kickoff, the coach explained: "There were various reasons, on the one hand we wanted to give the players a chance again who had done well against Leipzig. In addition, after such a short time he cannot really know the processes."

Hertha, after the 1-1 draw with VfL, currently sit in 14th place on the Bundesliga table and are yet to win at home so far this season.

Guendouzi has a contract with Arsenal to 2022.


- updated November 3

Carlos Volcano
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