Former Arsenal and Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba was critical of Mathieu Flamini following his dreadful first-half performance against Liverpool.
The French midfielder re-joined the Gunners in the summer of 2013 following a five-year stint in Italy with Serie A giants AC Milan.
A defensive midfielder with excellent leadership and forceful in challenges, Flamini’s qualities are evident but these are sometimes overshadowed by his weaknesses.
The 30-year-old, when not on his game, often looks slow, lethargic and wasteful in possession, and he often receives the brunt of the criticism for when the North Londoners struggle.
While it’s not directly the Frenchman’s fault, central midfield is widely regarded as Arsene Wenger’s side’s major flaw and many observers feel it’s an area which needs strengthening.
In the first-half of the Premier League clash at Anfield on Sunday, the hosts looked far more dominant than the Gunners and Flamini was isolated and exposed, prompting Muamba to question his role in the team.
Arsenal fans, can someone please tell me what does flamini bring in this current arsenal team?— fabrice muamba (@fmuamba) diciembre 21, 2014
A better second-half ensued for the midfielder as he made two tackles and two interceptions, although from a defensive perspective he was outshone by teammates Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Santi Cazorla.
With the absence of regular midfielders Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere, there is an argument to be made that Flamini excels at his role of being a steady back-up player.
Nonetheless, the Emirates faithful have been crying out for a new defensive midfielder for some time now, and it’s an area where Wenger should be pursuing a new addition during the January transfer window.