Arsenal official website have confirmed the signing of their former player Mathieu Flamini on a free transfer.
Flamini initially left Arsenal in 2008 when he refused to sign a new contract and joined AC Milan, where he won a Serie A title in 2011. The 29-year-old, who made 153 appearances for the Gunners from 2004 to 2008, returns to the Emirates after five seasons in Serie A.
Arsene Wenger is confident that Flamini will settle quickly into life back at his old club, having spent some time training at their Hertfordshire base this month. He said :
We’re very pleased Mathieu has agreed to re-join us. He is a player of real quality, with a fantastic work rate and great mentality. As we know, Mathieu is a strong midfielder, but is also is comfortable playing in defence too. He is a very good addition to our squad.
The website also stated that the deal is subject to the completion of regulatory processes. Mathieu will wear the number 20 shirt at Arsenal.
Flamini is only the second addition to Arsenal’s first-team squad this summer, following the arrival of France Under-21 international forward Yaya Sanogo from Auxerre.
The 29-year-old holding midfielder spent four years with Arsenal from 2004 to 2008, making a total of 153 appearances scoring eight goals. He found himself on the fringes at Arsenal but got an extended run of games, albeit in an unfamiliar left back position, following injuries to Ashley Cole and Gael Clichy.
He rose to prominence in the 2007/08 campaign, where he forged a telepathic understanding with Cesc Fabregas in the heart of Arsenal’s midfield. After his amazing performances that season, Flamini ditched the Gunners for more money to join AC Milan, making 122 apps in five seasons with the club.
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Flamini is a natural defensive midfield with vast Premier League experience so he won’t be expected to go through any adaptation period of any sort. He will provide depth and making things simpler, he has been there and done that. His versatility can be a huge asset for us this season, we have been missing a rugged, no nonsense midfielder for quite some time now. He’s still very capable of doing a job at the middle of the park.
He often slotted in at full-back for the Gunners in his first tenure at the club, and to have that option there will be a reassurance. For a free signing with an abundance of talent he is worth the risk however is not quite the signing that fans have been waiting for.
However this shouldn’t stop Wenger from pursuing a defensive midfielder considering that he’s a player with an extensive injury record of his own, So he should be used as an adequate cover in the wake of any injuries to our first team.
Are you happy with Flamini’s arrival?