Mathieu Flamini's early form at Arsenal has won him no end of plaudits. It seems amazing now that the reaction to his signing by the Gunners was met with such derision.
Looking back to then, it was not the player's fault - more a victim of circumstance with fans demanding big name signings, who at that point had not arrived.
The 29-year-old defensive midfielder has slotted in seamlessly at his old club, bringing with him an extra dose of know-how and cynicism learned from his time at Scudetto winning AC Milan.
Flamini has featured in seven matches in all competitions this season, and will now have a nice break over the international week to rest up ready for the return of the Premier League.
However if you were to discount Flamini from international football altogether, it appears you may now be mistaken.
Flamini has not won an international cap with France since September 2008, a 2-1 win over Serbia under Raymond Domenech, early into his AC Milan days. That was just his fourth cap, but until the present day it remains his last.
However his impressive form at Arsenal has not gone unnoticed by Les Bleus manager Didier Deschamps who had this to say, as reported by French journalist Julien Laurens.
Didier Deschamps on Flamini:I was not tempted to call him this time but Im watching him closely.He is playing at a very good level right now— Julien Laurens (@LaurensJulien) October 7, 2013
It is fantastic recognition for Flamini's efforts, a player who until the latter stages of the transfer window remained an unclaimed free agent.
Just knowing he is in Deschamps' thoughts will be added motivation for the midfielder to step it up a notch and show what he can do.
Flamini has players like Geoffrey Kondogbia, Maxime Gonalons and Josuha Guilavogui in his path for a first team spot at present in the French side, but if he can continue to impress then don't bet against him becoming a late contender to break into France's squad for next year's World Cup in Brazil.
Should Flamini get another shot with France? Or are Arsenal fans content to have him all for themselves?
image: © wonker