Mathieu Flamini’s no-nonsense approach to bossing Arsenal’s midfield defensively gives the Gunners great balance, says Arsene Wenger.
Emirates boss Wenger reckons Flamini’s abilities offer his side a huge benefit alongside players with great flair.
He said: “He is absolutely crucial to the balance of the team. He has done very well. He had not played since May and when you see how well he came in, it shows you how well, how focused and how dedicated he was in his preparation.
“He’s got what is needed in every team. I wouldn’t say we lacked that as much as people say but he is of course important for the balance of the team that we have players with his qualities.”
Wenger has also revealed it was Flamini’s attitude that convinced him to offer him a deal with the club.
Flamini, 29, signed for the Gunners for a second time when he switched from AC Milan on a free transfer deal and has settled in superbly.
The French midfielder was training with the club during the summer and impressed his former boss.
Wenger said: “First of all I believe that he realised what he had here. When you’re very young, it is difficult to understand what he had at Arsenal.
“I must say I was reluctant to sign him again but he was so honest in his statement that he wants to play the kind of football we play, that he wants to help us to win. He convinced me through his attitude and his desire in training that he will be the right signing for us.
“It was his attitude. He could have gone somewhere else. He had offers but he wanted to put it right with this club and I think he felt somewhere that he had something to bring to the piece here. He was determined to do that.”

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