Wenger hails 'best' partnership

High praise from Gunners boss

Flamini & Fabregas: Top Gunners

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Arsene Wenger rates Cesc Fabregas and Mathieu Flamini as the best midfield duo he has worked with at Arsenal.

It is a bold statement from a man who nurtured Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit into world-class performers during the early years of his reign.

The French duo were the driving force behind the Gunners' 1998 double-winning side and helped their country to World Cup glory on home soil the same year.

Wenger acknowledges that Vieira and Petit were a fine partnership, but believes that his current combination just have the edge.

Fabregas has enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence since making his debut in 2003, while Flamini has made the holding midfield berth his own this season.

Technical

"Yes, this is the best partnership," Wenger told Arsenal's official website.

"Going forward they are technically good and very mobile. Before we had players with impact and now the players' strength is in mobility.

"Maybe they are less physically strong in the challenge than Vieira and Petit but they have a good understanding and they cover each other well."

Wenger also feels that the emergence of the young duo is testament to the club's policy of nurturing their own talent as opposed to paying over-inflated transfer fees for the finished article.

"We build a team over years, being very restrictive about our spending and you are only rewarded if you can keep the team together," he said.