Crystal Palace have completed the signing of the former Arsenal and Milan defensive midfielder Mathieu Flamini on a contract until the end of the season.
The 32-year-old Frenchman had been a free agent after being released by the Gunners in the summer after playing 246 times over two spells, including 24 times last season. During his seven seasons with the club he helped Arsène Wenger’s men win three FA Cups and reach the 2006 Champions League final.
Sandwiched between that were five years in Serie A with Milan, where he won the 2011 scudetto. His career, though, started with hometown club, Marseille, where as a 20-year-old he started the 2004 Uefa Cup final before Arsenal snapped him up a few months later. He has also won three caps for France.
As he had been without a club and thus able to move outside of the transfer window, Flamini has been included in the Eagles’ 25-man Premier League squad, and will wear the No4 shirt.
The Palace manager, Alan Pardew, said: “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. I am delighted that we have secured a player of his stature.”
Speaking about his return to the Premier League, Flamini said: “Crystal Palace is a very ambitious club with great players and I am looking forward to being part of that squad. 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.”
Palace, who have one point from their opening three league games, visit Middlesbrough on Saturday.