According to several sources across England, Arsenal have agreed terms to resign Mathieu Flamini on a free transfer. Flamini has been training with the club ever since he was released by Serie A side AC Milan, who he left the Gunners to go and join 5 years ago. 5 years on and he is back at Arsenal after being invited to train with the club at London Colney, to supposedly build on his fitness. However with so many cases before, Wenger has taken the opportunity to resign one of his glory days players.
In the past we have also resigned club legends Thierry Henry, Jens Lehmann and Sol Campbell and although Flamini isn’t exactly a club legend he is still a former player who knows how to win with Arsenal. Interesting that those other deals have also taken place in times of desperation, but that aside I’m not disappointed with signing Flamini. I think he will prove to be good cover for both midfield and defence, and he will obviously help us on our way to build up some squad depth. So his rumoured signing isn’t a disappointment, unless it is the only one we make of course.
Also keeping on the good aspects of this signing is, he is free. Now that might sound a little Wenger-esque however if we can pick up someone like Flamini for free, who will provide excellent cover as well as a wealth of experience both on and off the pitch from Arsenal’s winning days, but it also leaves us with more money to splash elsewhere on the other positions.
The problem I do have with this deal however is the financial terms offered to Flamini. Firstly, the contract is rumoured to be £75,000 a week. That is extreme and although I recognise it’s fairly average for a top club, which we should consider ourselves to be, for Arsenal this wage is far too high. I know we have recently got around £400k of wages off the books, however for £75k to be splashed out on someone like Flamini each week just doesn’t seem right. Not only is he no longer the player he was when he left, but he is also nearly in his 30’s. Which brings us onto the next factor that points out the deal is rumoured to be a 3 year contract.
So this deal isn’t just a quick stop gap, this has been agreed as a long terms signing and although I don’t have a problem with that, again the finances of £75k for three years just seems wrong. I can predict how this is going anyway, he will play a fair few games this season, not show anything particularly exciting and before you know it we will be labelling him as deadwood on extremely high wages.