For those who haven’t heard, former Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini is a free agent having been released by AC Milan.
Flamini was out-of-contract this summer and despite several rounds of talks with Milan over a new deal, vice-president Adriano Galliani confirmed on Sky Sports News that the club have now ended contract negotiations and the Frenchman has left the Serie A giants.
Speaking about Flamini’s situation, Galliani said:
“The deadline has passed and we told his lawyer we won’t be waiting any more. We’ll bring in a new midfielder by August 31,”
“It could be Alberto Aquilani or someone else, as he is a Liverpool player and we’re not in talks with them.”
Galliani was quoted as saying on Sky Sports News
Flamini moved to AC Milan in 2008 on a free transfer having failed to agree a new contract with Arsenal. He made 37 appearances in his first year at the San Siro but never really managed to hold down a regular first team place and was largely being used as a utility player or played out-of-position at right back.
He managed to rack up a further 61 appearances over the next two seasons but it was becoming clear that he wasn’t in the clubs long-term plans. Last season was a disaster for the Frenchman as he made just 2 appearances all year, mainly due to a serious knee injury picked up at the start of the season.
With Arsene Wenger being linked with moves for defensive midfielders like Yann Mi’Vila and Nigel De Jong this summer, could the frugal French boss turn to Flamini as a far cheaper alternative?
Flamini struck up an excellent partnership with former captain Cesc Fabregas in the middle of the park in the 2007/08 season and was sorely missed when he left.
Despite the serous knee injury suffered last term, the Frenchman will not be short of options this summer and at 28, he should be coming to the prime years of his career. So he could be an excellent buy for the Gunners this summer.
Would he be welcome back at the Emirates? I think so. Many fans were disappointed by the manner in which he left, but he didn’t leave under a dark cloud like Cole, Nasri or Adebayor did.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d prefer Arsene to sign his number one target Yann M’Vila, but if that deal falls through he could do a lot worse than to bring Flamini in on a two-year deal.
He could provide competition to Alex Song for the defensive midfield position and wouldn’t stifle the long-term development of young prospects like Francis Coquelin or Emmanuel Frimpong. He knows what playing for Arsenal is all about and he already has experience of playing in the Premier League. Plus, he’s available on a free transfer!
What do Gooners think? Would you have Flamini back? Get involved in the comments section.