Is Elneny now a big part of Arteta’s plans?

Is Elneny a Gooner beyond deadline day? by Shenel

As there has been no movement on the Elneny front can we assume that he will stay and fight for his place?

Given that he got the nod ahead of Dani Ceballos at Afield on Monday night I think it is safe to say that Elneny could very well be part of Arteta’s plans for the season, unless something happens on deadline day and somebody swoops in for him, it looks like it will be a battle between himself and Ceballos for that midfield role alongside Xhaka. (Again unless something happens before deadline day!)

I can see the potential of both players, but I don’t think they are the answer to our midfield problems. Although, seeing the talent Ceballos had when he came off the bench on Monday, showing what he can add did add a sense of creativity for parts of the game, but the issue with Ceballos is that he is not consistent with games and sometimes he does affect the team better when he comes off of the bench rather than starting the game.

Similarly, for Elneny, he can affect the game at times from the start too and when he comes off the bench, but he too is inconsistent. The constant chop and change in our midfield does not help matters either and as we already are lacking creativity something needs to change.

Really, Elneny is a more defensive minded midfielder, as is Xhaka so having both in the team at times does not work.

We know all of the players have potential to become key aspects to our team but there is some in balance in the midfield that really needs to be addressed and quick, because, although we blame the defence and the goalkeeper at times, really more work needs to be done in the midfield, as that is where the defending needs to start and the creativity needs to happen. Gooners?

Shenel Osman


  1. Could very well be the case.

    If we fail to land Partey , and Diawara is not brought in as an alternative, Elneny could feature a fair amount throughout the season given the sheer volume of games.

    In fact whether we like it or not, this player is probably more adept at his role than others within the squad who seem to be rated more highly ?

  2. Elneny isn’t a bad player at all. He’s been at Arsenal for quite a while too although, he has been out on loan recently. I’m also sure that MA sees his value as a squad player and is keen to see his full potential before the transfer window closes.

    For me though, I think we’ve seen his full potential. Under Wenger and already under MA. For me, he’s not the answer to the problems we all know we have in the midfield. Is Elneny a tough tackler and strong? Yes, he can be. But is he quick, inventive, and always looking to get forward with the ball and successfully find the right pass? No. Xhaka is much the same although in my own opinion, hes much slower in looking up for the right pass before he even has the ball. Ultimately, he passes backwards. Attack over (again). Ceballos is the only player we have in that position who can at least take the ball at his feet and carry it forward with a good chance of finding the right pass to a forward or winger.

    Fact is, we need at least two midfielders who can defend as well as they attack. we need midfielders who can get this team to function with the spine it has needed for over a decade. We need to get rid of this “soft under-belly” and challenge the biggest and most toughest teams with a squad that has no midfield weakness. Elneny, Xhaka and Ceballos cannot do that!

  3. From the little I’ve seen since his return El-Neny seems much improved. He has a good touch, controls the ball well & is hard to knock off it. Passes forward more often (and quickly) now. I wouldn’t call him creative though and think his best position would be in a three man midfield, but only as a reliable squad player.
    Great hair though.

    1. Yeah, we have a lot of players whose hair is their best attribute – Elneny, Reiss Nelson, Luiz, Guendouzi to name a few.

  4. With the current crop of central midfielders at the club,,,, Elneny along with Ceballos and Willock are the only three people CONFIDENT ENOUGH to advance the ball forward.

    So give him a chance along with those other two. And I was previously not a fan of Willock

  5. Would be a great mistake if that were the case. Selling Elneny would free up the space for a quality midfielder. At the moment we have Elneny, Xhaka, Willock and Cebbalos. A creative nightmare. That midfield is the worst at Arsenal……EVER. All we have is the weekend to do business. Shambles! Even the Spuds have done good business. I blame Kroenke and Vinai Venkatesham for not buying first and dealing with the outcomes later. Hearbreaking last minutes as usual.

  6. Elneny is a very decent,good back up squad player, a bit like Milner although less versatile.Under the current 3-4-3 set up ,we only play with two midfielders ,supported by wing backs who are not technically skilful players as in Bellerin and AMN .Against a side like Liverpool with a powerful, dynamic and energetic midfield three, the fact that we had little decent possession is hardly surprising.Three will always be better than two even if they are of equal ability ,which they are not.We also have to remember that Liverpool can also call on Henderson and the highly skilled Thiago in normal circumstances.Add to the mix the best two attacking full backs in the League and two excellent and pacey centre backs plus arguably the best GK on the Planet and you have a truly formidable team even without mentioning their world class front three.I feel it’s important to highlight the strength of the Liverpool team to demonstrate the challenge which faces Arteta and to bring some realism to our fan base many of whom are scathing in their attacks against the duo which comprises our midfield when we are not comparing like with like.We both have eleven players, but now many of the side which played at Annfield would be first team picks at Liverpool.?

    1. The problem Grandad is the majority of our fanbase are very short sighted and have no grasp of understanding what mistakes the club has made over the past 5 or so years.
      They expect miracles.
      They expect world class signings every transfer window.
      They blab on and on about we should sign this player, sell this player etc etc.
      But that is deluded dreams.
      Now that MA and Edu are dealing with ins and outs of the squad which is bloated with some over paid, average and past it players, the future looks promising, they’re doing a great job in trying to rectify all the mistakes made over those years. Its not easy, especially trying to get a suiter for a player on 100k pw and 33 years old as an example.
      Then you add the pandemic on top of that.
      The liverpool game highlighted our weaknesses.
      Fans actually expected us to go and win at Anfield on Monday, a place where they havent lost a home game in 60+ games and are in form.
      When we played them post lockdown, they had already won the league, yes tehy fielded a strong team but they were’nt firing on all cylinders and the CS game was the same.
      Fans need to be patient and support every player that we have that plays in any game.

      1. 👍 👍 Grandad and Val, we have to stay grounded; the Board and senior executive have to back Mikel Arteta in the transfer market.
        Due to the damage inflicted by Gazidis et al the rebuild will take time. A midfield upgrade is urgently required with the strong, fast, powerful box to box midfielder Thomas Partey the #1 priority. Mo Elneny is an improved player and is a sound squad player.

  7. Elneny isn’t a bad player but he’s isn’t what Arsenal need to take them to title challengers. They need a combative, strong, ball playing holding midfielder Elneny nor Xhaka does that. That’s why Aresnal defense is always vulnerable to any type of attack. So Arteta need to sell him at this age and get some kinda money before he ends up running out his contract and going for free.

  8. Elnenny isn’t a bad player, just underwhelming, as is xhaka. They are footballers that have a level but that level isn’t what we aspire too. While we have these type of players we will struggle to get into top 4, just likexwe have since they joined.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs