Crystal Palace sign Mathieu Flamini

Crystal Palace sign Mathieu Flamini

The former Arsenal midfielder returns to the English capital for a new adventure.

Danial Kennedy

Crystal Palace's summer recruitment has continued with the signing of former Arsenal and AC Milan defensive midfielder Mathieu Flamini. 

Back in the league 

It has certainly been a busy summer at Selhurst Park, with the 32-year-old Frenchman becoming manager Alan Pardew's sixth signing. Flamini also becomes the third Frenchman to sign for the Eagles this summer, following the arrivals of goalkeeper Steve Mandanda and striker Loic Remy. 

Flamini became a free agent this summer after being released by former club Arsenal, where he made a total of 246 appearances in two spells, including 24 appearances last year. The midfielder will wear the number four for Palace, and he shared his delight at sealing a return to the English top-flight. 

"Crystal Palace is a very ambitious club with great players and I am looking forward to being part of that squad," he told their official website.

"It is a very interesting challenge for me and I am very excited to be here. I have had chance to discuss the move here with Alan Pardew and he really helped me make my decision." 

Pardew also spoke to the club's site, adding: "I thought it was important to get another midfield player. His playing ability will help us but also his leadership qualities and his ability of how to win games in a passing style." 

He concluded happily with: "I am delighted that we have secured a player of his stature.”

Potential for the elite 

It hasn't been just the new arrivals that have began to impress so far in the new campaign, with the likes of Wilfried Zaha having a big impact, proving key in their 1-1 draw with Bournemouth, and Pardew believes he does have the ability to join one of the world's elite clubs. 

Above: Wilfried Zaha in action during Crystal Palace's 1-0 defeat to the Tottenham | Photo: Getty Images
Wilfried Zaha in action during Crystal Palace's 1-0 defeat to the Tottenham. | Photo: Getty Images

"He's done great for me but I think there's improvement in him. I do think he's got some improvements to make to be a top player," Pardew told the Croydon Advertiser. 

He continued: "If a club came in with, say, £50-£60m - let's say a Man City, Barcelona or Real Madrid, and he's got ten goals and nine assists - as his manager at Crystal Palace I can't really stand in his way."

Pardew concluded: "I don't think our fans would either. He knows he isn't there yet and he has no problem seeing that. I have told him that. Potentially, he could be."

Crystal Palace will take on Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday, September 10 with kick-off at 3pm BST.