Mohammed Elneny isn’t the most featured player in the Arsenal squad, and quite frankly there has been a lot of mixed reviews on him since he joined the club. He has made a few appearances for the Gunners since his return from the African Cup of Nations, but he also picked up an injury concern in Arsenal’s last game.
The Gunners did not play at the weekend due to the fixture against Southampton being postponed to a later date. It has meant that the players have had an extended break since their last game, which of course was that FA Cup match against Sutton United.
Elneny featured in the match but came off with a suspected injury concern, as a result of the 3G surface. The Egyptian had to receive treatment in the first half, before he was withdrawn completely in the second 45 minutes of the match. It was revealed later that there were concerns over ankle ligament damage.
It remains unconfirmed as to what date Elneny is likely to be available for Arsene Wenger, but unlike other players, there doesn’t seem to be many fans calling for the midfielder to hurry back in his recovery. Of course the fans want Elneny to be available as soon as possible, because a fully fit squad will aid Wenger in his selection process. However, when it comes to Elneny, there are still a few mixed opinions over whether he shouts Arsenal quality.
Elneny hasn’t always been favoured by the fans because although he is certainly an absolute bargain buy under Arsene Wenger, having set the Gunners back just £5 million; he still isn’t highly regarded as someone of ‘Arsenal quality’. Elneny is certainly more of a squad player than regular first teamer, and he has received mixed reviews. This is mainly because although he often does the job expected of him, he also fails to bring the kind of impact that the fans expect from midfield.
Elneny has good passing attributes and a physical presence on the pitch, but in terms of creativity and looking at him as a figurehead for success, Elneny doesn’t hold a lot of the qualities needed to be a regular feature for Arsenal.
With this in mind, not only will Elneny have to step up on his recovery from injury, but if the midfielder intends on becoming a regular starter for the Gunners, then his game also needs to step up to the next level. Elneny needs to show Arsenal, Arsene Wenger and the fans, why his presence is needed week in week out, and that he isn’t just a squad player used sparingly when the numbers start to drop in midfield.