Arsene Wenger gave a positive and encouraging update on the injury situation at Arsenal yesterday, reported by Arsenal.com, and as well as the very good news on the fitness of our centre backs Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel after both picked up knocks last week, the manage spoke about his only signing of the January transfer window Mohamed Elneny.
The Frenchman said, “Elneny is fit. He is one of the players who could get a run [out] there. He’s mobile, he’s a very good player. He’s adapting at the moment and I think he’s there now. We’ll certainly see him against Hull. He has a chance to start.”
So Elneny does have a chance but I do not think he will. The Egypt international does need as much time on the pitch with his new team mates to help him settle into the Arsenal team. But the reason he might not be in from the start against Hull, in my opinion anyway, is that one of the things that the boss said he needed to work on was coping with the physical strength prevalent in the English game.
Another reason would be to save him for the Champions League clash with Barcelona on Tuesday and I think that European football might be much more to his liking at the minute. Elneny has fantastic energy in the middle of the pitch and we will need as much of that as possible against the tiki-taka kings.
He also has a lot of European experience from his time with the Swiss champions Basel. 37 games worth of experience in fact, 11 of them in the Champions League and I am sure this is where he caught the eye of Wenger and the Arsenal scouting team.
What do you think of the idea of playing Elneny instead of Ramsey against Barca? It might take away some attacking threat but it would certainly make us harder to beat and we will have to play on the counter against them anyway.