Mathieu Flamini returns to Arsenal

Paolo Bruno

Arsenal have finally signed a player with significant experience in senior top flight football.

Mathieu Flamini has rejoined Arsenal on a free transfer after spending the summer training with the club to maintain his fitness. The club announced the deal on their website on Thursday, but did not give out any information on the length of Flamini's contract.

Arsene Wenger had very Wenger-like quotes, and the second part of his statement will probably scare the pants off of Arsenal supporters.

"We're very pleased Mathieu has agreed to re-join us. He is a player of real quality, with a fantastic work rate and great mentality. As we know, Mathieu is a strong midfielder, but is also is comfortable playing in defence too. He is a very good addition to our squad."

Yeah, let's emphasize that.

"also is comfortable playing in defence too."

That comment isn't helping anyone feel good about this deal, Arsene. If Flamini plays in central defense, Arsenal supporters will shake with so much anxiety that it compromises the structural integrity of the Emirates Stadium.

Flamini joined Arsenal from Marseille in 2004 and went on to establish himself as a first team regular at the end of his tenure with the club. He famously shut down Kaka in a UEFA Champions League tie during his final season with the Gunners, which was almost certainly a contributing factor in his contract demands. When Arsenal didn't meet them, he fittingly joined AC Milan on a free transfer.

Injuries were nearly constant during Flamini's time in Italy and led to him losing his form, which eventually led to Milan opting not to retain him. He's been a useful player when fit, but it's questionable if he's truly been fully fit at any point since 2008.

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