Flamini Snubbed Milan For Arsenal
Mathieu Flamini has spoken to the media about his comeback to Arsenal, and according to a report in Metro, the player has revealed that he snubbed a fresh two-year contract at former club AC Milan to pave the way for his reunion with Arsene Wenger.
Wenger is once again a popular figure in north London, and the supporters have taken to his way of dealing with transfers, after the shrewd signing of Real Madrid star Mesut Ozil. The French boss was being heavily criticized for not putting pressure on the club’s directors to release funds to sign prime targets. The club had been linked with various players like Stevan Jovetic and Gonzalo Higuain, but could not complete moves for either player due to better packages being offered at Manchester City and Napoli respectively. Instead, these moves took away precious time in the transfer market, and each link wasted up to a month in the window. Things got worse when the Barclays Premier League season kicked off at the Emirates Stadium when the Gunners faced Aston Villa, and lost 1-3 at the final whistle. The players were treated with boos at the end of the game, and Wenger remained calm and took his planned action in the market. The signing of Flamini was declared shortly after the opening day defeat, but the fans were not impressed, as they saw the move as an affordable way to add to the squad. However, the signing of Ozil filled the void in the squad, and with Olivier Giroud firing on all cylinders, Arsenal made good progress in the following games, beating Fulham, Fenerbache and arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the league.
Flamini began his career in his native France, where he represented Marseille at the youth level in 2001. Even though his age restricted a professional contract at the club, he played 14 matches for the senior side, before Wenger’s approach. He signed for Arsenal in 2004 and played 102 matches over four seasons, before AC Milan made their move.
On his comeback, Flamini has already made his debut, and he said, “Milan asked me to extend my contract for two years,
“However, at 29 years old, I didn’t want to sign anything less than three seasons. I had other opportunities in Italy where clubs other than Milan contacted me, as well as from sides in Germany and England.”
“At this stage of my career it was an important choice, so I took time to think. To maintain my fitness I decided to train with Arsenal and then over time the deal unfolded.”
“The fact that Arsene Wenger is still at the club was an important part of my decision, he knows me very well and has played a big role in my career.”