Mathieu Flamini insists he has returned to Arsenal in the best shape of his career after leaving in 2008.
Flamini left Arsenal on a free transfer in the summer of 2008, opting to join Serie A giants AC Milan instead of signing a new contract at the Emirates.
Flamini never established himself as a starter for Milan, but did keep his consistency, making over 20 appearances in each of his five seasons in the Serie A.
He was released by the Italian club in the summer and returned to Arsenal to train whilst looking for a new club.
After impressing during his spell with the club, Arsene Wenger offered him a two-year deal despite admitting he never planned to re-sign Flamini when he invited him to train with the club.
Flamini has confirmed that he believes he is a much better and fitter player than he was in his first spell at Arsenal.
He told Arsenal Player: "My fitness levels are still very good," Flamini told Arsenal Player. "After what [fitness coach] Tony Colbert told me after some speed tests, I am quicker than I was five years ago.
"It was funny because we made a joke that it was like wine, getting better with age. I still feel very fresh.
Flamini, who was renowned for his endless energy reserves whilst at Arsenal, has claimed that his spell in Italy has helped him to develop a much better understanding of the tactical side of the game, whilst the fitness and effort levels still remain.
"I would say I evolved [in Italy]," he added. "I'm 29 now, I played a lot of games in Italy and I had the chance to discover a new championship like the Italian league, based on a lot of tactical aspects because there is not a lot of space so I think it made my game evolve.
"I think I'm much better tactically because being in Italy for five years you learn a lot of tactical things in training, what you know is your position on the pitch. Afterwards with your age you read the game better so for your position this is important.
"Serie A is much more tactical than the English league. The English league is much more quicker and physical and the intensity is very high from the beginning to the end. In Italy there is less space and that's why you don't have as many goals as you do in England.”
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