Petit hails Arsenal star as vital signing

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Former-Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit believes Mathieu Flamini is the club's signing of the summer - not Mesut Özil.

Petit, who became a fan favourite with the Gunners during his three-year spell at the club, thinks Flamini fulfils a vital role at the base of the Arsenal midfield - a position left vacant since the days of Alex Song and Cesc Fabregas.

Speaking to talkSPORT, the Frenchman said: "Everybody is talking about Mesut Özil, with good reason, but as I said months ago I was very pleased to see the return of Flamini at Arsenal.

"Since the time Cesc Fabregas was there they have missed the big guns in midfield.

"They need Özil but they were also missing a defensive midfielder, just in front of the back four. Now, with those two players, they have found the right balance and can enjoy their football."

Flamini spent four years at Arsenal between 2004 and 2008 before leaving for AC Milan on a free transfer.

But after another four years in Italy, the France international returned to the Emirates Stadium following the expiration of his Milan contract.

Unfortunately for the Gunners, they'll be without Flamini for the Champions League home tie against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday evening.

He was forced off against Norwich City with a concussion, and will not recover in time to make the squad against the Bundesliga giants.

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Mathieu Flamini
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