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Date TimeSeptember 15, 2019
VoiceThe young midfielder has a fire, an intensity and a hatred of defeat, qualities that were not so apparent in some of his predecessors in the Emirates engine room
Arsenal’s Matteo Guendouzi can thrive if he heeds cautionary tales
In May 2011 Denilson, vexed at playing a bit-part role in another of those frustrating, ultimately shapeless Arsenal seasons either side of the decade’s turn, announced he would be leaving the club. The gist of his explanation, outlined in a national newspaper interview, was thus: he had arrived in London as an 18-year-old with high hopes of winning trophies but, half a decade down the line, no such good fortune had visited him. He would seek a new challenge elsewhere, looking to rekindle the early fire of a youthful gamble that had not quite paid off.
By that point there was little reason for those of an Arsenal stripe to care. Hindsight can justifiably read Denilson’s decline as one of the thousand cuts that splintered Arsène Wenger’s youth project in the years after Arsenal moved to the Emirates Stadium, but he had long since ceased to be held up as a standard bearer for future promise.

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