Thierry Henry has thanked God that Mathieu Flamini remained at Arsenal beyond the summer transfer window after it looked for all the world like he would depart.
It was reported earlier this year that the French midfielder had been told he could leave the Emirates, but he remained at the club after Arsene Wenger refused to pay him a one-off fee to terminate his contract.
Now, Wenger appears to be lucky he didn't. A torrent of injuries has seen Flamini adopt a crucial role in the first-team ahead of the festive period. Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla will be out until the spring with respective knee injuries while Mikel Arteta is also struggling with form and fitness issues.
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Henry, speaking during a Q&A session with Facebook, says he thanks divine intervention for keeping the 31-year-old at the Emirates and has backed his compatriot to play a significant part in Arsenal's title challenge.
He said: "Flamini is doing well at the minute; imagine if Flamini left - and it looked like that was the plan at the beginning of the season. Thank God he stayed because look what happened to Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin."
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Despite lending praise to Flamini, the Arsenal legend still thinks Wenger needs to sign a new defensive midfielder in January in order to give them the best chance of winning the Premier League.
Asked who he would sign in January if he was in charge, Henry said: "It's a hard one, because for me right now I think Arsenal's squad is good enough to win the league. What we need is some backup to make sure we have a guy that can hold the fort if Flamini gets injured.
"The position would be holding midfielder for me, and with Arsenal they are at the top and the amount of injuries they've had is not normal. But when those guys come back they can be your new signings. But we keep saying that!"
Plenty of reports have linked Arsenal with a move for just such players, but so far the Gunners boss has remained cagey on the subject. Most recently, Southampton's Victor Wanyama was cited as a potential target, but Wenger shot the report down just hours later.
Arsenal have also been linked with Sporting Lisbon's William Carvalho, Bayer Leverkusen's Lars Bender, and Inter Milan's Marcelo Brozovic.
Who should Arsene Wenger sign in January? Or should he just stick with Mathieu Flamini and hope for the best? Give us your thoughts in the comment box below!
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