December 4 2013 Latest news:
By James Cunliffe
Friday, August 30, 2013
Arsene Wenger has admitted that he did not want to re-sign Mathieu Flamini but that his compatriot convinced him to change his mind.
The 29-year-old had been training with Arsenal over the last fortnight and last week the manager insisted that he was here just to maintain his fitness after his contract with AC Milan expired.
But yesterday the north Londoners announced that the free agent had signed a three-year deal to rejoin the club he left in 2008.
“At the start I didn’t want to sign him, I am completely honest about that,” Wenger said.
“I didn’t envisage doing it at all. Circumstances and his attitude convinced me to do it.
“I didn’t expect him to be in that mental state and physical state.
“Our job has a great quality – it’s a good teacher of humility so you always have to be ready to change your mind, and he changed my mind.”
Wenger added: “The ambition is there and he is hugely fit. He came here for fitness and we tested him quite well. He worked very hard and he knows how we want to play and the ambition we have.
“He’s quite versatile, he can play in different positions and when I saw what mental state and physical shape he was in it was a no-brainer.”