Redknapp pinpoints one of the things which has held Arsenal back for years

Arsenal's free addition of Mathieu Flamini proved a smart signing at the weekend.

There were certainly mixed views when Mathieu Flamini returned to Arsenal, and his goalscoring was not the reason he was drafted back in by Arsene Wenger.

He netted an important strike at the weekend to secure a point against Manchester City, making up for the own goal he scored days earlier at home to Swansea.

His overall impact has helped Arsenal this season, with two of their heaviest defeats, at Arsenal and Chelsea, coming when he was on the bench.

Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Carragher has claimed in his Mail column that Flamini is actually what Arsenal have been lacking 'for years'.

He said: "Flamini helps close things up against powerful midfields, and there is none more powerful than City’s.

"For years Arsenal have struggled against stronger sides because they are not good enough without the ball.

"Is Flamini the long-term solution? No, but, with him in the side, Arsenal look a much more solid outfit."

His comments echo those of Paul Scholes in midweek, who criticised Arsenal for 'lacking leaders' in midfield, yet that's precisely what Flamini is. 

There are of course other areas Arsenal need to improve - namely their strikeforce and finding another pacy complement to Theo Walcott - but another defensive midfielder should also become a priority this summer - as it should have been the previous two.

Wenger has though shown he is reluctant to play Flamini week after week, and he has just 16 starts in the league to date.

With Flamini 30-years-old, Arsenal will have to begin looking at a younger alternative to the Frenchman. Whether that should be Wolfsburg's Luiz Gustavo, or former Gunner Alex Song, or another star Arsene Wenger has up his sleeve, last summer's free addition won't be wanting to give up his place in the squad without a fight.

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