Arsenal made two very smart acquisitions in the summer, one was less glamorous but just as important – Mathieu Flamini.
The tough tackling defensive midfielder has shone since arriving back in north London, receiving yellow cards like no tomorrow but providing a solid shield in front of the defence.
Signing for free in the summer has made up for losing him in 2008, he has finally filled the defensive midfield void left by Alex Song last year.
The Cameroon international departed to Barcelona under strange circumstances, we weren’t ‘desperate’ for the cash, we didn’t have a replacement lined up and Barcelona didn’t really need him. Not only that but he was also our second best player after Van Persie during the 2011/12 season.
The Daily Star have reported (without much substance) that word is out in Spain that the former Gunner is wanting a return to north London after a so far disappointing spell in Catalonia.
Manchester United have also been linked, with the defensive midfielder making only his third start this season in Barca’s 4-1 victory over Valladolid, but drew some plaudits (finally) for his performance.
Should Song want to leave the Catalan giants either this winter or summer is there even space for him at Arsenal? If Flamini had not signed this summer then perhaps the answer would be different, but for now it appears there isn’t.
He certainly burnt a few bridges with Arsenal fans when he left, and a number of Gooners thought he was more of a liability as a defensive midfielder as he ventured forward too often and vacated his primary job. But the main reason why he will most likely not return over the next season or so is purely because there is so much depth in Arsenal’s midfield with Wenger already having Flamini, Arteta and eventually Diaby at his disposal.
What are your thoughts Gooners? Comment below…