How would you rate Elneny’s first season for Arsenal? by AH
Although many Arsenal fans were disappointed that Mohammed Elneny turned out to be the only signing of the January transfer window, the Egyptian international ended up being a very impressive player for the club this year.
At the time of Elneny’s signing the Gunners were crying out for that final boost that could have maintained their title challenge. Arsenal were toying with Leicester over the Christmas period and were standing strong in the top two with a realistic chance of being title winners at the end of the season.
Everyone expected Leicester to falter, whilst Arsenal could have continued on until the end of the season. However, that was not the case and in fact it was very much the other way around because as Arsenal began to fall behind, Leicester’s surge continued. A top quality centre back and striker was what Arsenal needed in January to keep us going, but all Wenger could manage was yet another midfielder. Admittedly Arsenal were struggling with injuries in midfield at the time, with Wilshere and Cazorla being the main absentees, and so Elneny’s signing was definitely necessary, but you couldn’t help but feel there were more important areas that needed addressing.
At the closure of the window, fans were understandably left disappointed with Elneny being the only signing, and many were unsure what to think of the club’s new Egypt international. A rumoured £5 million bargain from Swiss club Basel, Elneny came very cheap and fans did not know too much about him, but as Wenger often does, he seemed to pull a trick from under his sleeve and presented us with a central midfielder who is not afraid to get stuck in at either end of the pitch.
Elneny has been a brilliant player for Arsenal so far and even benched the ever present Francis Coquelin when players became fit again. Elneny’s presence both in defence and attack does not go unnoticed, whilst his determination and drive to carry the ball forward is something we don’t see too much from Arsenal’s usual sideways passing.
Speaking on adapting to life at Arsenal, Elneny told Arsenal.com: “When I came to Arsenal, there were different ideas. If you went somewhere thinking you know everything, then you’ll never learn. I gain experience and I always learn from people here because they are successful. Arsenal are one of the biggest five clubs in the world so they’re definitely successful people. You have to listen to everyone here to gain their experience.”
Elneny was asked about how he has had to adapt to the life of London and the style of the Gunners and he seems to be fitting in well with his teammates, despite there being a language barrier. Elneny is an active part of the side, featuring a total of 17 times for the Gunners. He managed to get his first goal for Arsenal in the 3-1 defeat to Barcelona at the Nou Camp and was unlucky not to get his first goal in the Premier League on Sunday against Aston Villa.
What did you make of Elneny’s first season? In such a short time I think he has already impressed and as a young player he still has many years of development ahead of him before he really peaks. It’ll be exciting to see how he has done in his first full season at the club come May 2017.