Mohammed Elneny – well what can I say? by Shenel
He was surplus to requirements under Unai Emery, and was sent out on loan for the season, a season that saw Emery get the sack, Freddie Ljungberg took over for a few games and then Mikel Arteta getting the job as head coach only nine months ago.
Elneny was sent to Turkey to play for Besiktas in the 2019/20 season and made around 27 appearances for the first team, scoring one goal and creating three assists. Being a follower of the Turkish Super League myself, I was witness to this new player that has emerged from his body and has now come back to Arsenal. I secretly hoped he would come and claim back a spot in the first team if he was to continue performing like he did in Turkey.
Having Elneny back in the side and playing the way he has been so far is rather refreshing for us, and has saved us money with regards to having to go out and buy someone in that position. Arteta clearly also sees something he likes after giving him his first Premier League start in an Arsenal shirt since May 2019.
Preferred this time to Ceballos in midfield, Elneny slotted in well alongside Granit Xhaka and pretty much picked up where he left off from the Community Shield game against Liverpool. Again, we see that there will be some key battles for that midfield position, but it is healthy and may even make players step up their game that little bit more, if that is even possible.
The midfield was key to many parts of our game today, the ball was played through and linked out to the wing, play went via Xhaka and Elneny, they used the space or lack of it quite well and they settled into the game, especially after our first goal. The fluidity of the midfield and the strength they held, enabled the wingers to run riot on both the left and right sides and that is something that can be worked on and tweaked depending on the opponents, but if this tactical play and togetherness continues no matter who we play in what competition, then I believe we will have an even more successful season.