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Matteo Guendouzi has claimed he needed to leave Arsenal to "have fun" in a thinly-veiled dig at his parent club.
The French midfielder has been loaned out to Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin for the season, though it appears unlikely he has a future at Arsenal beyond then.
He was frozen out of first-team affairs at The Emirates after falling out with Mikel Arteta in two separate rows.
There seems to be no way back into Arteta's good books for the 21-year-old, who says he was left "hurt" by his demotion and lack of playing time.
"I needed to have fun on the pitch, to regain confidence and that's what Hertha offers me. It really is a choice I made," Guendouzi told Telefoot.
Matteo Guendouzi says he felt "hurt" by his imposed exodus from the Arsenal side
(Image: Icon Sport via Getty Images)
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"In the space of two seasons I have played more than 80 games with Arsenal.
"When you play less, you start to think and it hurts."
Guendouzi first crossed boss Arteta during a warm weather training camp in Dubai when he had a bust-up with a teammate in training.
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Both players were warned over their conduct, but Guendouzi was deemed the more at fault, leaving Arteta with question marks over his attitude.
He then further irked his manager during last season's clash with Brighton, when he got into an argument with Seagulls' striker Neal Maupay, after which Guendouzi didn't play again for Arsenal.
Should Arteta welcome Guendouzi back to Arsenal after his loan spell? Have your say below.
Guendouzi in action against Dortmund on Saturday
(Image: Getty Images)
This is not the first time he has spoken out about his time at Arsenal, hinting last month that his time at the club was over.
He told Kicker he "had a good, intense time there", before adding: "I learned a lot there in terms of sport and grew up there.
"It was two good years for me."
Since then Guendouzi has made three appearances for Hertha, including Saturday's 5-2 defeat at the hands of Borussia Dortmund.