Football

Arsenal didn't plan Flamini deal

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that re-signing Mathieu Flamini was not something he had initially considered when the Frenchman began training with the club following his release from AC Milan.

Flamini had been granted the chance to maintain his fitness levels by spending three weeks at Arsenal's London Colney base as he pursued a contract with another club, but ended up securing a return to the Emirates Stadium.

The offer of a deal from Arsenal had not been on the agenda of Wenger when Flamini first arrived at their training base, but circumstance encouraged the club to pursue a deal for the 29-year-old.

With Mikel Arteta injured and Abou Diaby a long-term absentee, Arsenal are in need of recruits in central midfield, and Wenger believes Flamini is the right acquisition for the club - and is not afraid to admit he was wrong about his former charge at first.

"At the start I didn't want to sign him - I am completely honest about it,” Wenger told reporters.

“I didn't envisage doing it. Circumstances and his attitude convinced me to do it.

"I didn’t expect him to be in that mental state and in that physical shape. Our job has a great quality - it is a good teacher of humility. So you always have to be ready to change your mind, and he changed my mind.

"The ambition is there and he is hugely fit. He came here for fitness and we tested him quite well. He worked very hard and he knows how we want to play.

"He is quite versatile. He can play in different positions and when I saw what kind of mental state and physical shape he was in, it was a no brainer."

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Arsenal
Premier League

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