Arsenal midfielder Mesut Özil has hailed the importance of teammate Mathieu Flamini, revealing that the squad are very happy to have the veteran player at the Emirates and praising his contributions in our League Cup win over rivals Tottenham (via Arsenal.com).
Flamini is currently on his second stint at Arsenal; the 31-year old spent several years playing for AC Milan before Wenger convinced him to return to the Emirates in 2013. Since then, he has made a further 51 appearances for the Gunners, scoring 3 goals. Two of those were of course against Tottenham at White Hart Lane; it was the first brace of the Frenchman’s career and could not have come at a better time.
Özil was extremely appreciative of Flamini’s contributions, and commented on his importance at the club.
“He scored two wonderful goals [at White Hart Lane]. He’s been rewarded for his strong showings and those goals were of course sensational,” he said.
“[Volleys like that] are really difficult. Sometimes when you see players connect with them, the goalkeepers save the shot or they miss the target. Mathieu caught his perfectly and scored a wonderful goal, especially because it was the winner.
“I have a really good understanding with Mathieu. He’s a guy who always gives 100 per cent on the pitch but when he’s off the pitch, he’s a player who makes a lot of jokes and gets on well with a lot of his team-mates.
“He’s just a great guy with whom I have a lot of fun. As I said, we’re just pleased to have him in this team.”
Flamini was rewarded for the Spurs display with a start against Leicester City in the League. However, he suffered a hamstring injury early in the game and had to be replaced. When he returns, he will surely mount another challenge for a starting spot, but with Francis Coquelin fit once more it seems somewhat unlikely.