After yet another stirring performance against Stoke City ... is Mathieu Flamini the potential signing of the season?
When they signed him we all laughed, we all belittled them for signing a free agent, who told them he wanted to leave a few years ago, who has barely played because of injury in the past few seasons, who was never even considered a potential signing until he arrived at the club to keep fit during the summer.
The player was Mathieu Flamini - and we can all start thinking about getting our humble pie ready.
Today Arsenal took on Stoke City at The Emirates, and in the almost library like atmosphere in North London one players voice could be heard above all others - Flamini’s.
He looked like he had never been away, dictating the play from the middle of the park, cutting out possession when Stoke City tried to play the ball around the pitch, and dispossessing players who absolutely tower over him such as Steven N’Zonzi and Kenwyne Jones using his low centre of gravity and presence of mind to keep the ball shielded from his more physically imposing opponent.
In general … it was just an all-round superb performance, and not his first since returning to the club.
But signing of the season? Is that a little bit too far?
I don’t know. Why not? He is a utility player who can play across the midfield and at either flank defensively. He is a player that came in almost fully integrated to the club due to his previous dalliances in North London. He is a player who fills a position where Arsenal considered themselves to be in need of reinforcing and he is a player who seems to have got over his previous troubles with injury.
Did we mention that he cost absolutely nothing?
It may be early days yet, but so far in this summer of mega money being spent all over the league, from top to bottom, it could be that everyone missed a trick in the form of this once considered washed up French international.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald