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Could Arsenal's signing of Flamini be the signing of the summer?

Could Arsenal's signing of Flamini be the signing of the summer?

Could Arsenals signing of Flamini be the signing of the summer?

Throughout the summer, many pundits laughed at Arsenal's re-signing of Mathieu Flamini; but could this be Arsene Wenger's best masterstroke yet?

Speak to any Arsenal fan this summer and one thing that most would have told you is this: the Gunners needed to sign a defensive midfielder as quickly as possible.

Cast your thoughts back to the famous 1997-1998 season when manager Arsene Wenger burst onto the scene in stunning fashion, seeing his Gunners side win the Premier League title in his first full season. At the heart of his midfield, Emmanuel Petit and Patrick Vieira paired up to create one of the Premier League's best ever defensive midfield partnerships.

A few years later, Vieira would remain an instrumental player throughout Arsenal's success. Later on, Gilberto Silva would take charge as Arsenal's main defensive midfield star. Since the Brazilian left, Arsenal have continuously failed to add defensive mettle to their side and subsequently the Gunners' title challenges have continuously failed.

Take a look at Arsenal's midfield last season, plenty of talent indeed but the Gunners still missed something. Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Mikel Arteta proved an exciting trio, but there would be no sufficient backup nor an entirely defensive option, the type of player that could snap at a rival team's midfield and attack.

Arsene Wenger admitted last week that re-signing Mathieu Flamini was indeed a difficult decision to make. The Frenchman left Arsenal for AC Milan in a somewhat controversional manner after the player left the Emirates on a free transfer. The French midfielder would come back to Arsenal this summer and has already surprised many with a series of excellent displays at the heart of Arsenal's midfield.

Flamini is a smart signing by Arsene Wenger. He allows Aaron Ramsey the freedom to push forward and, as we have already seen this season, he can score goals if he is given the permission to roam. Even more so, Jack Wilshere has also been grabbing the headlines with a series of excellent displays. Teams have been putting their efforts into stopping the England international from playing his game and the little Englishman is thriving on this attention; most of the build up play comes from him. Flamini also allows the likes of Mesut Ozil to play the creative playmaker role.

So, is Flamini one of Arsenal's smartest signings yet? Ironically, Flamini joined Arsenal on a free transfer for a second time, so the Gunners didn't even have to spend a penny to bring the player back. Arsene Wenger, if you can produce the goods this year, this could be one of your greatest ever transfer signings.