France defensive midfielder returned to the Gunners after a five-year spell at Milan.
Arsenal head coach Arsene Wenger has hailed the impact made this season by returning midfield player Mathieu Flamini, according to reports in the Sunday Mirror.
Most observers so far have been highlighting the eye-catching contributions of club-record signing Mesut Ozil, after the Germany international’s whopping £42.4 million move to the Emirates from Spanish giants Real Madrid in the final hours of transfer deadline day.
However, the experienced Gunners manager has actually earmarked the key role played by France international Flamini, who Wenger brought back to north London this summer on a free transfer from Serie A outfit AC Milan.
The holding midfield player left Arsenal in May 2008 after controversially rejecting the Premier League club’s offer of a new deal and instead deciding to run down his Gunners contract so as to be able to move to San Siro on a lucrative free transfer.
But, against his better judgement, Wenger decided to re-sign Flamini from the Rossoneri this season, and his compatriot says that his is now extremely glad that he went against his initial wishes by landing the 29-year-old on a two-year deal in August.
“Flamini has given us a balance between attacking and defending. He is someone who accepts the dark role in the team,” said Wenger.