Report Card: Mathieu Flamini

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Age: 30
Nationality: French
Position: Defensive Midfield / Right Back
Squad Number: 20
Height: 5ft 10
Interesting Fact: Flamini scored Arsenal’s last ever goal in red and white at Highbury, rifling home a half-volley in the 7-0 victory over Everton in 2005.

A hard-working, aggressive defensive midfielder that has endeared himself hugely to the Arsenal faithful since returning to the club on a free transfer in the summer of 2013, bringing a renewed sense of leadership and determination to his play. His inclusion in the side consistently demonstrates the importance of a defensive presence in the midfield, immediately apparent from his (second) home debut in the 1-0 victory over Tottenham where his performance was lauded by players, fans and pundits alike.

Flamini offers the back-four some much needed security while allowing more gifted technical visionaries such as Ramsey, Wilshere and Özil to boss the midfield and play with much-needed freedom. While he more regularly contributes to the less glamorous side of the game, such as blocking and shielding, his overall impact upon the serenity and equilibrium of Arsenal’s team cannot be understated.

How much will he play?

Flamini should certainly play in all of Arsenal’s toughest clashes this season as he is the only player in the squad who can offer the team the requisite defensive steel for such quality opposition. It will be interesting to see how much Flamini plays in the other games, especially with the recent injury to Mikel Arteta, but due to his enormous versatility do not be surprised to see him utilised at right back where he has played before.

How well will he do?

At 30 years old Flamini should be at the peak of his powers. Provided he stays fit, he will prove to be one of Arsenal’s most important players in their quest for more silverware this season. Writing as a die-hard fan myself, Flamini is always the first name I check for in the line-ups fore the bigger games, as his leadership, work rate and winning experience (two FA Cups, two Community Shields, one Serie A and one Italian Supercoppa) has such a monumental impact upon the team.

Read: Report cards for the whole Arsenal squad

Tackling: 8/10
Despite his relatively diminutive size, 5’10, Mathieu is extremely strong in the tackle and takes no prisoners with his challenges. Discipline is an area that could be worked on.

Passing: 6.5/10
Is not the most creative or technical of players but performs the basics well.

Strength: 8/10
Fiercely determined player who will use his robust physique to enhance his defensive play and get the edge over opponents.

Anticipation: 8/10
Flamini’s excellent anticipation is one of his most valuable attributes, often proving vital in breaking up opposition attacks and igniting an Arsenal counter.

Work Rate: 10/10
Simply put, he never stops running. Often covers around 14-15 kilometres during a game.

Pace: 6/10
Flamini has never been blessed with tremendous pace and relies on his work rate and reading of the game when defending against players that are especially quick across the ground.

Current value: £7 million
Potential value: £8million
Overall Rating: 7.5/10

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