Whilst Mesut Ozil's transfer to Arsenal attracted the main headlines in the summer, it is the less glamorous acquisition of Mathieu Flamini that has arguably been the more useful addition to Arsenal's squad.
The French midfielder, signed on a free transfer after rejecting a new contract from AC Milan, has returned to the club where he made his name with some tireless performances.
Operating at the heart of midfield, spoiling opposition attacks while engineering his own, he has once again endeared himself to the Arsenal faithful.
His signing may turn out to be one of the smartest moves of the summer by Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal desperately lacked cover for Mikel Arteta at the base of midfield; the signing of Flamini will more than provide that, in fact in evidence of recent performances he will be competing with the Spaniard for that position when Arsenal's vice-captain is fit.
His invaluable experience of having played in the Champions League for a number of years will also be an asset in Arsenal's favour.
Flamini provides a 'wise head' in a midfield that includes young, burgeoning talents such as Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere.
His presence will allow those two, and of course Ozil, to express themselves higher up the pitch in more dangerous areas, without having to fear about being caught on the counter attack.
All this and he was a free transfer. It could be a masterstroke from Wenger, who of course pulled off one of the most controversial free transfers in signing Sol Campbell from Tottenham Hotspurs.
While Flamini may not be destined for club folklore, like Campbell, he looks a shrewd signing who could have a big part to play in Arsenal's season.
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