Arsenal hero Ray Parlour has heaped praise on Mathieu Flamini.
Parlour believes the Frenchman's tigerish displays as the defensive shield have helped the team go to the next level.
"Flamini has been very important," Parlour told Arsenal Player. "At times over the last few seasons when Arsenal have broke forward they look great but when they lose the ball they have been very open in midfield. Good teams will exploit that.
"He's always in those areas where the ball breaks loose and is always trying to win the ball back. He then moves it quickly to the likes of Jack Wilshere and Mesut Ozil who can really do something with the ball.
"He did that really well before he left. Now he's doing exactly the same and he's a very important player to have in there because you can see [Per] Mertesacker and [Laurent] Koscielny really enjoying their football because they have got Flamini in front of them.
"He's doing a great job shielding them because at times they do look a bit open when they play with all the attacking players they have got."
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