Mathieu Flamini

Versatile midfielder Mathieu Flamini returned to Arsenal in August 2013.

The France international put pen to paper on a second spell with the Gunners, his first having run from 2004, when he joined from Ligue 1 side Marseille, until 2008.

Mathieu is primarily a central midfielder, but helped Arsenal keep a competition-record 10 consecutive clean sheets when filling in at left back during the run to the 2006 Champions League final.

His stand-out season came in 2007/08, when he was a fixture in the midfield and produced a string of all-action performances – catching the eye in a team that challenged for the Premier League title.

Mathieu Flamini Profile

Born March 07, 1984
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 20
Previous Club(s) Marseille, Arsenal, AC Milan

A tough, intelligent competitor with a fine engine and an eye for a pass, his form alerted numerous clubs around Europe and, after making 153 appearances for the Gunners, he joined AC Milan in the summer of 2008.

Mathieu won the Serie A title with the Rossoneri in 2010/11, playing an important role in the middle of the park. Earlier in his time in northern Italy, he had deputised impressively in the right- back position. After missing most of the 2011/12 campaign through injury, he returned to the side last term and played an important role in Milan’s strong finish to the campaign – scoring four goals in the last six games of the season.

After his contract expired at the San Siro, he began training with Arsenal – signing for the Club two weeks into the new Premier League season.

Mathieu Flamini's Arsenal Career

  Prem Lge Europe FA Cup Lge Cup Total
Season Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
2004-2005 9 + 12 1 2 + 2 0 4 0 3 0 18 + 14 1
2005-2006 19 + 12 0 11 + 1 0 2 0 2 + 1 0 35 + 14 0
2006-2007 9 + 11 3 3 + 3 1 3 0 2 + 1 0 17 + 15 4
2007-2008 30 3 8 0 1 + 1 0 0 0 39 + 1 3
2013-2014 17 + 7 2 5 + 1 0 2 + 1 0 0 0 24 + 9 2
Total 84 + 42 9 29 + 7 1 12 + 2 0 7 + 2 0 133 + 53 10

My Year

  • 2013/14


After replacing the unwell Jack Wilshere in the first half against Tottenham to make his second Arsenal debut, Mathieu has been a virtual ever-present in the side, only missing the Capital One Cup game at West Brom. The French midfielder impressed with his battling displays and has provided Arsene Wenger with another valuable option in midfield. "I really have the sensation of being back home," Flamini told Arsenal Player. "Playing against Tottenham, in a big derby, it was a great emotion, a great feeling."


Mathieu started four of Arsenal's six games but had to come off against Norwich City and Crystal Palace after suffering from concussion and a groin injury respectively. The midfielder played a pivotal role in the win over Napoli at the start of the month in what was a superb all-round display from the Gunners. "I don’t think it is harder - the Premier League was very hard before and it is still as hard as before," said Flamini after the draw with West Bromwich Albion. "Top players were playing in the Premier League before and top players are still playing in the Premier League now. That means it's very physical and very quick from one side to another."


Mathieu picked up his fifth booking of the season against Manchester United which meant he was suspended for the game against Southampton. But the French midfielder returned to the starting line-up for the win over his old club Marseille. Mathieu scored his first goal since his return to the Club in the 3-0 win over Cardiff City with a first-time finish from Mesut Ozil's pass.


Mathieu featured in six of Arsenal's seven games in December. Like the rest of the midfield, his best display probably came in the hard-fought win over Newcastle where he protected the back four superbly. "Titles are is my biggest hope [for 2014]," Mathieu said. "When you play at the top level that is your biggest motivation. You wake up every morning and go into the training ground and work harder and harder because you want to win."


January was a month of mixed fortunes for Mathieu. The midfielder produced some solid displays in the wins over Cardiff, Aston Villa and Fulham before he was sent-off for a two-footed tackle on Morgan Schneiderlin. "The team is very strong and we showed great character," Mathieu told Arsenal Player after the Fulham match. "We pushed and pushed during the whole game and got the goals in the second half. "It is very important to be defensively strong and stay balanced because at the end of the year, the teams who have the possibility to win things are the teams who are strong defensively."


Suspension meant Mathieu was forced to miss Arsenal's first three games in February but the midfielder returned for the cup game against Liverpool and produced a typically battling display to help the Gunners qualify for the quarter-finals. Mathieu continued to show his leadership qualities as the team produced a spirited defensive performance in the 2-0 defeat to Bayern Munich after being reduced to 10 men. "My most important job on the pitch is to protect the back four and it is not easy, especially when the other team is focused offensively and has so many players of real quality," he told Arsenal Player. "I try to stay in front of the back four, to protect Koscielny and Mertesacker. I’m also trying to co-ordinate between defence and attack, because what is important in football is to attack together and defend together."


It was a mixed month for Mathieu as he was restricted to just three starts. The French midfielder made a vital contribution with the equalising goal in the game at home to Manchester City but also scored a highly-unfortunate last-minute own goal in the 2-2 draw with Swansea. Speaking after securing his side a draw against Man City, Flamini said: "It was important for every single player in this team because it was difficult after what happened at Chelsea. "We wanted to find a victory but it was important to find something from the game. "It's a great feeling [to score] and it gave us the possibility to come back in the game. We were looking to score another one to win the game but we'll take the point."