Matteo Guendouzi has to learn to "mind his temper", according to Gilberto Silva, who says the Arsenal star is guilty of getting nervous and losing his focus on the pitch.
Guendouzi has emerged as one of the most talented young players in the Premier League since joining the Gunners from Lorient in the summer of 2018.
The 21-year-old has already racked up 82 appearances in all competitions for the north London outfit, and has enjoyed a key role in the team since Mikel Arteta's arrival in December.
However, the France Under-21 international hit headlines for all the wrong reasons last weekend, as he was pictured grabbing Brighton's Neal Maupay by the throat after Arsenal's 2-1 defeat at the Amex Stadium.
Guendouzi escaped punishment from the Football Association for his actions, but found himself axed from Arteta's latest squad as the Gunners earned a 2-0 victory at Southampton on Thursday.
Questions are now being asked of the midfielder's future at the Emirates, but Gilberto remains an avid fan of the ex-Lorient starlet.
The Arsenal legend says Guendouzi will have to work on the mental side of his game to fulfil his potential, while avoiding controversial situations instead of actively seeking them out.
“I like him. He seems a very interesting player. He has ability, he has pace to go forward,” Gilberto said at the Collision From Home conference.
“But sometimes I just feel a little bit confused about which position he plays. Does he want to be like a No.6, to protect the back four, or a No.8 to go box to box.
“If he wants to be a No.6 he has to play simple and he has to mind his temper. Sometimes I see him a little bit nervous, sometimes that’s unnecessary.
“He needs to just play his game – he has quality. Don’t pay attention to other things. When I see him play he suddenly starts to get nervous in some situations and he loses his focus.”
Prior to Arsenal's defeat at Brighton, they were beaten 3-0 by Manchester City on the first day of the Premier League restart, and a top-four finish now looks beyond Arteta's side.
Silva, who was a part of the famous 2003-04 Invincibles squad, has called on the leaders within the current group to stand up and be counted so that the Gunners can start moving forward again under an ambitious young manager.
He added: “In our time, we had many leaders in the team, on the pitch and off the pitch. Everyone spoke through their body language out on the field and, honestly, in the last few years this is something I have really missed seeing at Arsenal.
“It’s hard to say it’s about leadership because from what I understand they do have some guys who are leaders. But it is hard to see exactly how this leadership works out.
“It’s very hard to see the situation Arsenal are in and you can say that about the last few years. But I hope they can find a way to get back to the glory days.
“It’s going to be very hard work for everyone at the club – the board, the staff and the players – and they all must work together if they are to change the situation.”