Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has conceded that he was reluctant to re-sign Mathieu Flamini in the summer, as reported by

The French international midfielder left the Emirates Stadium for the San Siro back in 2008, joining AC Milan on a free transfer having rejected the chance to extend his stay in north London.

And, after a seven-year absence, Flamini is now back with the Gunners having returned to the club in the summer, again on a free transfer.

A lot has changed at the Emirates since the 29-year-old last played for Arsenal, and Wenger believes Flamini regrets some of his decisions during his previous stint with the Gunners.

Now, however, the Arsenal chief is just glad to have the tough-tackling midfielder available for selection once again.

Speaking to Arsenal's official website, 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."

Flamini played a starring role in Arsenal's 3-1 win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Saturday, and Wenger will be hoping the Frenchman can continue his fine form as the table-topping Gunners look to maintain their fine league form.

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