Mikel Arteta has offered an olive branch to Matteo Guendouzi insisting he has wiped the slate clean for the Arsenal misfit.
And the Gunners boss clearly wants him to take a leaf out of new signing Willian’s book when it comes to positivity and ambition.
Arteta held clear-the-air talks with Guendouzi, who was dropped last season after a row with the Spaniard, and wants to bring the 21-year-old in from the cold.
The Arsenal boss, whose side face Liverpool in Saturday’s Community Shield, said: “I spoke with him to tell him that he’s going to be part of the team.
“Everybody starts from zero. What you did two weeks ago or two years ago doesn't really matter. It's what you are able to contribute to the team now.
“Everybody is going to have the same opportunities. They'll have to show with their performances and attitude that they are better than their teammates.”
Guendouzi was a negative influence at times last season but his £40m asking price has so far put off potential buyers.
And he could learn from big-name free agent signing Willian, who said he signed a three-year deal so he could win the Champions League with the club.
Arteta said: “Well, it is the right spirit! I want players who are optimistic and willing and they want to win for our club.
“That is the feeling I got from the first day I met Willian. He is not satisfied with what he has done in his career, which is a lot.
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“And he is going to bring some special qualities for our team, and the type of attitude and mentality that you want.”
Arteta could hand a debut to new boy William Saliba at Wembley, but is still sweating on the signing of Gabriel Magalhaes.
Arsenal have agreed a £25m fee for the Lille defender and he has passed a medical but the club are still putting the finishing touches to the deal.
Arteta also warned his warring goalkeepers that he’s going into the new season without a recognised No 1.
Emiliano Martinez impressed at the end of last season when he came in for the injured Bernd Leno.
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But with Leno now fit and Martinez a doubt because he missed training to quarantine after a trip to Portugal, he is back to square one.
Martinez hinted earlier this month he could quit if he doesn’t get regular minutes, but Arteta said: “I love to have two goalkeepers at the level of Bernd and Emi.
“But they both know that on the first day of pre-season, you start again and fight for your place.
“I don’t want to keep them both happy, I want the one that is not playing to be upset. But upset and then challenge the other one to make him better, or earn his place.”
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