Arsene Wenger has revealed that it took a ‘fight’ for Mathieu Flamini to remain an Arsenal player heading into this season. 

The 31-year-old, who has one more year left on his contract, had been deemed likely to be offloaded during the transfer window following the emergence of Francis Coquelin last season.

However, Flamini refused to complete the personal terms of a £1.4m transfer to Galatasaray at the start of August after declaring that he would not “give up that easily” on his place at Arsenal.

And following a remarkable display from the Frenchman in the 2-1 victory over Tottenham, Arsene Wenger has revealed that Flamini was tempted to say goodbye to the Gunners at some point during the summer.

“I fought to keep him but he is at an age where you always consider what it is important at that age, which is to keep focused and stay in the team.” Wenger said

“If they do not manage to do that it is better you let them go, but he wanted to stay.”

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