The Pros And Cons Of Re-Signing Mathieu Flamini

By on August 23, 2013

With Arsenal reportedly close to re-signing midfielder Mathieu Flamini on a free transfer, blogger Gooner Daily gives us his pros and cons of bringing the Frenchman back to the Emirates.

Mathieu Flamini

After keeping his fitness levels in check and training extensively with the Gunners over the past two weeks, the Guardian, has reported that Arsenal are set to re-sign tenacious midfielder, Mathieu Flamini, as a free agent following his contract expiration with AC Milan, the team he left Arsenal to join in 2008.

The 29-year-old holding midfielder spent four years with Arsenal from 2004 to 2008, making a total of 153 appearances scoring eight goals. After arriving as a free agent from Marseille, he found himself on the fringes at Arsenal but got an extended run of games, albeit in an unfamiliar left back position, following injuries to Ashley Cole and Gael Clichy.

He rose to prominence in the 2007/08 campaign, where he forged a telepathic understanding with Cesc Fabregas in the heart of Arsenal’s midfield, with Tomas Rosicky and Aliaksandr Hleb providing width through the flanks.

Flamini’s performance at the San Siro was one of his best in the 2007/08 campaign. He shut the Golden Ball winner, Kaka, down over the course of the game.

After his amazing performances that season, Flamini ditched the Gunners for more money to join AC Milan, making 122 apps in five seasons with the club. Despite the fact that he was synonymous with first-team action at Arsenal, he failed to command a starting berth in Italy and even featured as a fullback more times than he expected.

Flamini’s potential return to Arsenal has been met with mixed emotions as some faction of the fans are very happy about his second coming while others have been unimpressed with the fact that the Gunners don’t want to invest in quality talent out there.

Without further ado, here are the pros and cons of signing Mathieu Flamini, from my own perspective.

PROS

He’ll Provide Adequate Cover in Midfield

This is the primary reason why Arsenal needs his services. Abou Diaby has been injured for as long as I can remember and Arsenal’s chief enforcer, Mikel Arteta, is also nursing a thigh injury. With Francis Coquelin shipped out on loan, the Gunners are desperately light in midfield and can only call on the services of Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere to play as the double pivot, two players with injury records of their own.

Flamini is a natural defensive midfield with vast Premier League experience so he won’t be expected to go through any adaptation period of any sort. He will provide much-needed depth.

His Versatility  will be useful

In Arsenal’s run to the Champions League final in 2006, Arsene Wenger placed his faith on Flamini to do a job for his team at left back. The Flanimal embraced his new role and excelled admirably before losing his place to Ashley Cole in the final in Paris. In his days at AC Milan, he was used as an emergency right back and even though he lacked the attacking instincts and crossing ability of a full back, there were no issues with his defensive side, as he ravaged opposition wingers in his spells as a make-shift fullback.

At Arsenal, the injuries keep ramping up in several position and that trend hasn’t stopped this season. Flamini will be a perfect cover in midfield as well as the full back positions. I even believe that he can do a good job as a center back if given the chance.

He’s Free!!!

As the saying goes, all the best things in life are free. A player of Flamini’s quality would arrive at the Emirates for nothing and Arsene Wenger has to be heralded for convincing him to make a second spell at the club. He would not expect to walk into the first team but he arrives as a free agent, which is good for the club’s coffers, as they wouldn’t be touched yet again.

As if the club was planning to…

He Would Want to Pay the Fan’s Back

Flamini was a fan favorite in the 2007/08 season and was undoubtedly one of the finest holding midfielders in the business at that point in time. However, many Gooners were shocked to see the Frenchman jump ship after AC Milan offered him a higher salary than Arsenal, which ultimately meant that his four year stint was over.

Now that he’s returning to the club, some fans would be happy to see him strut his stuff but he would be on a personal mission to win the fans back and he can only do that with some stellar performances on the pitch. Let’s hope to see the Flamini of old that was a thorn in the flesh of opposition attackers.

CONS

There are Better Defensive Midfielders Out There

If you’re left with a choice to purchase one defensive midfielder from a list containing Asier Illarramendi, Luiz Gustavo, Mathieu Flamini, Lars Bender, Ilkay Gundogan and Marouane Fellaini, the Frenchman would be the last player you would probably consider, which clearly means that a club like Arsenal with the resources at their disposal, should be going for the other available players in this aforementioned list.

Illarramendi and Luiz Gustavo currently have new employers but the Bender twins are still available and there’s also a man-mountain in the form of Fellaini that is yet to be snapped up.

Flamini is clearly a cheap option but Arsenal can really afford to sign any top player they want. This is the same team that had a 40m + 1 deal rejected for Luis Suarez. With 40m, the Gunners can buy any midfielder in that list, and there will be excess change left.

A Sign of Desperation

Arsene Wenger had the entire summer to find a defensive midfielder but he chose to fold his arms as many players slipped past him. Following a shocking home defeat to Aston Villa, the manager is now on a trolley dash to sign talent from Europe.

It’s a shame to see that he has gone for another cheap option like Flamini.

His Arrival Doesn’t Justify Francis Coquelin’s Loan Move

Arsene Wenger had accessed his squad for the 2013/14 season and decided that Francis Coquelin wasn’t going to be a part of it so he consciously decided to let him out on loan to Freiburg.

Signing Flamini clearly means that shipping Le Coq out was a poor piece of judgment from the boss, as it was glaring that Mikel Arteta would need cover in the wake of any injury but he never did that.

Now he has rolled back the years to sign Flamini, when he should have left Coquelin in the squad all along.

Flamini’s Injury Record

Despite the fact that Flamini is meant to be an adequate cover in the wake of any injuries, he’s a player with an extensive injury record of his own. Since his move to Milan, he has been plagued with a series of muscular injuries and one can only hope that he doesn’t come to the club to add to Arsenal’s injury woes as well.

Conclusion

I feel that signing Flamini on a short-term deal might turn out to be a good piece of business but in all honesty, there are better options out there and a club like Arsenal should aim higher.

How do you feel about the proposed signing of Flamini? Share your views below.

This post was originally published on Gooner Daily - you can check out their Facebook page here.

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15 Comments

  1. arsenal-steve

    August 23, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    There are no pro’s for signing Flamini. The fans are being shortchanged. Wenger, guaranteed, will now not buy another midfield player. After 55 years of watching Arsenal I realise there is one thing that needs to be done. Get rid of Wenger. The club will be out of the Premiership race by Christmas and Wenger will leave in disgrace anyway. He has now stated there is less money in the ‘war chest’ than expected. The guy has OCD over money. Even if he wants to spend it he cannot. Why should a man with a mental health problem run a club like Arsenal.

    • Doc

      August 23, 2013 at 5:30 pm

      The man has played for AC Milan, so there must be some pros. AW has built AFC on stable foundations and deserves some respect for his mental stability.

  2. Morrygooner

    August 23, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Why cant we sign one the Bender twins? Let Gazidis go and we replace him with Dein and our team will go back to its glory days.

  3. mergo

    August 23, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    If he is looking for substandard mid fielder like Flamini whom he allowed free transfer years back, why he let Coqeillin on lone???? This is Wenger’s system of cheating fans, sighinig “new face” to increase the depth of his squad.I dought he may bring back Santos,shamaki and other’s to increase depth of the squad. This man is Mad he should be taken to Hostital. Victory on Fenerbace in meaninigless b/c Aw still not using advantage of Bieng in CL to attract big players. PLEASE TAKE THIS MAN TO PSYCHIATRY HOSPITAL.

    • Doc

      August 23, 2013 at 5:35 pm

      La Coq will be back with regained confidence, which he lacked when he got a chance to play. He is not sold. We need someone NOW, and MF is available, so he is a reasonable solution.

  4. kudos

    August 23, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    what about signing flamini as a short cover for Arteta, who will/should impede d development of Freepong and d Conque? Think, do you? Signing Pogba or the likes means Conq and Pong are not expectd to return for Arsenal. Or should they be released by the club? So for me, Flamini is the best option for now. Experienced, versatile, won’t obstruct development of our long term prospect.

  5. immaculate

    August 23, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    it will make a GREAT DEED of sense to sign him cos he has a lot of experience at the top level.He versatile, strong and a committed player.He will be very useful in CL

  6. godelo60

    August 23, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Flamini has come to help his country man pack his belonging out of the emirates stadium.

  7. ckycee

    August 23, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Why this old man always like free things? Does he have a wife or children to advise him? I doubt if he have any, such men are very dangerous, stringy and selfish.

  8. fran

    August 23, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    While I disagree with anyone who says flamini is not a good signing (because simply put he us a defensive midfielder and neither arteta nor ramsey are defensive midfielders). The problem I have with us resigning him is that of we do thats the end of our interest in bender, fellini and any other top notch defensive midfielder. I do consider flamini to be a top drawer defensive midfielder but hes at the wrong end of his career and hes injury prone. I would argue that he should be signed as back and a mentor to fellini or bender and then we could allow arteta and Ramsey back into their more natural positions

  9. Coxie cujo

    August 23, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    Wenger must go if he doesn’t sign a better DM than Flamin. Plus he betrayed us wen we needed him most (Flamin)

    • Doc

      August 23, 2013 at 5:42 pm

      MF played for Ligue 1, EPL and LaLiga champions, 2 UCL finals, national team. What more is needed to be a first class player? AW is still solid in his beleifs and remains at the top level. Let him do his job.

      • dare

        August 23, 2013 at 9:44 pm

        La liga champions? U are delusive. And he has just 3 caps for France. Also, he was a squad player in Milan. Not saying he is a bad player after all but he is more mediocre than world class.

  10. Alfred

    August 23, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    I will support Wenger on re-signing MF. However, it should be a short term signing. It will be good to realize that we need more combative midfielders. Getting MF on a free transfer should help us to buy one quality midfielder, one goalkeeper, and possibly two strikers. The worst thing that Wenger can do is to assume we have enough after MF. There are some games in premier league that requires a Flamini, such as Stoke City, Chelsea and Tottenham; where tenacity counts. We need him lets not pretend

  11. kayc

    August 23, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Aw pls sign mf.we need him

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