There is a reason that AC Milan tried to stop Mathieu Flamini from walking away from the San Siro with a new contract offer and that reason has to be why Arsene Wenger has gone back on his usual policy of not re-signing former players.
In a summer where some big name midfielders have been talked about in parallel with the Gunners, it turns out that the midfield addition is a free transfer of someone Arsenal fans already know all about.
What Flamini will provide to Arsenal is quality and versatility. He’s played at the top level of European football for a very long time and he also injects key experience into the current Arsenal side.
He can also play multiple positions across the midfield and also cover at the back, which is significant considering the number of injuries the club has to the back four at the moment.
He’s proven his quality on the ball over an extended period of time and he already knows the Arsenal mentality and philosophy as the Gunners look to nail down another top four place this season.
However, as impressive and sensible as a deal for Flamini is, it definitely lacks the sort of punch that would convince Arsenal fans that Wenger has finally adapted and embraced the modern era of contemporary transfers.
Confusion is a sometimes overused word but in this case it’s very much appropriate.
Considering Arsenal’s boasts of financial strength this summer and the resources the club has available (something in the region of £100 million), the club could have seriously nailed down some superb midfield talent.
That’s not a knock against Flamini in the slightest just a logical conclusion looking at some of the players who have arrived in the Premier League this summer and the calibre of some of the players teams have tried to buy this summer.
Flamini’s arrival means no chance of Arsenal pushing Mesut Ozil of Real Madrid to make a switch to North London in the current transfer window who has the ability to take the Arsenal midfield on another level.
However, it could convince former Arsenal star Cesc Fabregas that a move back to the Emirates could be a good idea because Flamini naturally wouldn’t have signed had he not been convinced about Wenger’s ‘vision’.
Fabregas has stated numerous times that he would find it difficult to turn down a possible move back to Arsenal but it all seems a bit pipe-dreamish.
Flamini’s arrival was simple because he trained with the Gunners leading up to the deal being offered. He was a free agent and Wenger didn’t have to deal with the shark-like agents to get the player signed, sealed and delivered.
It’s a good transfer but it’s one that does nothing to remove the massive thorn in the side of Arsenal fans everywhere.
What do you think Arsenal fans?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald