Gunners boss explains decision to re-sign midfielder.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is pleased to have secured the signing of Mathieu Flamini on a free transfer, he told the club’s official website.
The 29-year-old midfielder left the Gunners on a free transfer to AC Milan in 2008, but has been snapped up again by Wenger following his release from the San Siro this summer.
The Frenchman spent four years with Arsenal in his first spell at the club, enjoying a particularly strong season in 2007/08, with many fans lamenting the club’s inability to keep hold of him against interest from Milan.
However, the club’s supporters are now keen for Wenger to spend money on big names, with Arsenal’s only two purchases so far this summer being free transfers, while rivals Tottenham have spent £90million on exciting big-name additions to their squad.
Still, Wenger feels Flamini’s best years are ahead of him, and believes he will prove to be a good signing on his return to Arsenal.
“We are very pleased Mathieu has agreed to rejoin us,” Wenger said. “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.”
“He is a bit older, but he is still only 29. The best years are in front of him now – the next three years. Physically, he is perfect. He was tested, prepared and he is physically in fantastic shape.
“He knows how we play football, knows the club and had a huge desire to come back.
“He was available because he was out of contract and he is a quality player, and a focused player.
“Those were all the reasons that pushed me to make that decision.”
Flamini made 122 appearances in five seasons with Milan, winning the Serie A title in 2010/11, but never truly established himself as a regular for the Italian giants.