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Flamini To Wear No.20 Shirt As Wenger Explains Decision To Re-Sign Midfielder
As expected, Arsenal have announced the re-signing of midfielder Mathieu Flamini on a free transfer this afternoon.
As we reported last night, a deal was agreed on Wednesday to bring the 29-year-old back on board on a permanent basis with Flamini signing a three-year contract.
Upon completing the signing, boss Arsene Wenger has told Arsenal.com why he decided to give the former AC Milan midfielder another chance at the Emirates.
His versatility was highlighted as a key reason and this has to be one of the major positive’s I can think of. Of course he’s not the big-money signing we all crave but he can fill in for both full-back positions as well as in midfield, and that versatility will come in very useful throughout the course of the season.
Wenger described the deal as a ‘no brainer’ and claims that Flamini is in ‘fantastic shape’, but thankfully he said he’s still in the market for new players and hopes to have more new additions in before the window closes.
on why he decided to sign Flamini…
Because he knows how we play football. He knows the Club. He had a huge desire to come back. He was available because he was out of contract and he’s a quality player, and a focused player. Those were all the reasons that pushed me to make that decision.
on if versatility played a role in the decision…
Yes, of course. It’s a very important impact on the squad because he can cover many positions. He can play with everybody in midfield and he knows the game we want to play. He knows the game in general. He’s tactically very shrewd, very focused to win and that’s why the decision was basically a no brainer.
on if he’s the same player that left in 2008…
He’s a bit older but he’s still only 29. The best years are in front of him now – the next three years. Physically, he’s perfect. He was tested, prepared and he’s physically in fantastic shape.
on Flamini only winning three French caps…
I believe when he left us, he got a bit lost because he got injured early on in Milan. When you are off the radar, you are quickly forgotten and other players move in. Maybe he will come back into contention now being with us.
on if he’s looking for more faces…
Yes, of course. When you think that we lost three players of the stature of Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Podolski for three months basically before the season really starts, it’s very hard to take and we are in a position where you want some more players.
The club confirmed on it’s Twitter account a short time ago that Flamini will wear the No.20 shirt this season, which is the number Johan Djourou used to wear.
He should be registered in time to be eligible to feature against Tottenham on Sunday. I very-much doubt he’ll start but at least we’ll have some experience on the bench.
So that’s two free signings so far this summer. Not the ‘big-money’ deals we were promised at the start of the summer but the club still has four days to put that right. Over to you Arsene….
What do you think of the re-signing of Flamini?