Mohamed Elneny: New Sheriff in Town by AK
The internet and, in particular, the Arsenal fans, is buzzing with the news of Elneny joining Arsenal amid complicated process.
Mohamed Elneny is the midfielder Arsenal fans have been, for a while, waiting for. So much so, that we all get frustrated when we wake up to Wenger’s complicated updates. That appeared not to be the case on Thursday, with the 23-year old completing a move from Basel to Arsenal. The Egyptian international has 39 caps to his name and began his career with El Mokawloon, before joining Basel in 2013, with the Swiss Champions paying just €800,000 for the midfielder’s services.
Elneny has 91 league appearances and won three consecutive Super Leagues titles with FC Basel. During the first half of this season, Elneny has featured 28 times in all competitions and scoring six goals.
An experienced Egypt international, Elneny is an intelligent game reader while at the same time providing tireless energy in the middle of the field. As a midfielder, Elneny knows when to hold back, to intercept, and to attack. He consistently looks backwards from his defensive midfield position; thus, providing cover to the back four. This implies that Eleney suits Wenger’s traditional 4-2-3-1 formation. Playing as a defensive midfielder, he is in a position to receive the ball from the defenders, distribute the ball and providing a platform for Carzola and Co. to play with simple, accurate, and urgent passes.
Elneny has a figure of both size and poise and will serve as Coquelin’s deputy. For over half-decade, Arsenal has been trying, with varying degree of success, hard to copy Barcelona’s tiki taka style. Eleney’s tall, robustly built and commanding size together with long-range passes and confidence with the ball is exactly what Arsene Wenger likes and demands from his present supply men.
His performance in Europa League games has been particularly impressive, starring in famous confrontations with Arsenal’s Premier League rivals: Chelsea, Liverpool, and Tottenham.
Elneny has the lung capacity of a Kenyan long distance athlete, covering more ground, and with less injury timeout. The new sheriff fits the novel, vaguely more practical ethos Wenger continues to attempt to instil in Arsenal.
The no-muscular enforcer will not become an immediate starter since Arsenal’s midfield area is a stable one, even with Coquelin and Wilshere still out with injury. However, this might not be the case during the Sunday’s Super clash with Stoke City, at the Britannia Stadium. We all hope to have him available, “we will see if he can qualify for Sunday,” Wenger said after the 3-3 draw with Klopp’s side on Wednesday night.
A devoted Muslim and married with a young son and a baby the way, Elneny is a disciplined player who draws strength from both family and faith. He frequently carries his prayer mat on away games and strictly observes the Ramadan. Elneny doesn’t attract unwanted publicity asides from the field.
With the bonds between father and son running thick, Elneny is ready to fight and adapt to Premier League’s pressure having promised to “contribute positively with the team.”