Is this midfielder to be our Luiz-type centre-back for Arsenal this term?

Mohamed Elneny has been used as a makeshift central defender in pre-season this term, and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is open to using him as a ball-playing type.

The Gunners made the switch to the 3-4-2-1 formation which helped Chelsea to steal a march on all rivals as they comfortably secured the Premier League title last season, and we opted to play our own system including the same system toward the end of the campaign also.

Using their own formation, we managed to dominate the champions in the FA Cup final, and are looking to continue our upturn following the switch by continuing into the new campaign with the same ideas, and a ball-playing defender can be a huge asset to the system.

Mohamed Elneny has found himself adopting said role in the side of late, and is a viable option to continue in that role as we move forward, much like David Luiz adopts in Chelsea’s XI.

The Brazilian was previously known for his defensive frailties, but has been amazing in a back-three with the freedom to move forwards, and we could well see our own star excel given the role.

Arsene Wenger has now stated that he likes the use of Elneny between two fast centre-halves.

Wenger said: “Elneny is a player who has a fantastic mentality and attitude, and his main target is to help the team. When he plays there, of course he does extremely well.

“Of course [he needs to learn the defensive side], but I always felt that a good central midfielder can be a good centre back. With the fact of course that when you’re playing in the back four you have to be decisive in the challenges, you have a bit more flexibility in the middle of a back three. He can do that.

“Overall on tour, I played players like Elneny in a back three and he coped very well. Maitland-Niles sometimes played at centre back as well, even in the big games against Chelsea.

“You see their strengths and their weaknesses, and you learn a lot about your players and your combinations too. The advantage we have is that we have a good stability in our squad, so I already know who I can combine with who, more or less.”

Elneny has impressed in his limited opportunities in the first-team squad, but has found himself battling with one too many rivals for a central midfield role, but we may just have found the perfect position for him, and just like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, maybe we could maximise the ability in our squad thanks to the ew move.

Is there a permanent space in our back three for Elneny? Who should make way for him in the line-up? Does Maitland-Niles deserve to be ahead of the Egyptian in the defensive roles?

Pat J


  1. John says:

    Useless experiment…….just sign the specialists……..and stop this utility player business……not all players can play in multiple positions……..know who your specialists are…….and who your multi-position players are………

    1. Napersie says:

      I don’t know which game Wenger was watching but what I know is that he was average and Niles was damn poor.

      1. Napersie says:

        And Sanchez claiming that he’s sick… Let him rot in the reserve if he wanna force himself to citeh, never sell him there. Fkkk off

        1. Muffdiver wants change...not for arsenal...for.the vending machine, I'm thirsty as f### says:

          48 hours before he’s due back he puts on a scarf like he can’t just turn the heating up in his million pound home and posts a pic on installation

          Hijo de puta.

          1. Muffdiver wants change...not for arsenal...for.the vending machine, I'm thirsty as f### says:

            Installation?! Instagram!

            This phone.must be Chilean its clearly siding with that tonto

      2. Kostafi says:

        New season- same Wenger.
        El Neny is decent as a CM and is best suited to a 3-man midfield where 2 CM’s hold. In a 4231, he cant be your DM despite a fantastic engine and is somewhat limited creatively in the box to box role. As a utility player, he is fantastic! Good for squad rotation and will be a cut above inferior opposition.
        As a CB, he is out of his depth. The preseason games showed that. Concentration at CB cannot be dropped for 95mins and it is not natural to him. He was well out of his depth against Bayern and Chelsea and made an intercepted back pass against one of the Aussie teams.
        i would rather have Chambers or Holding learning their trade than El Neny. Hell Gabriel is better, as is Mertesacker, Kolasinac, Monreal, Mustafi and Koscielny.
        Barring departures, he must be 8th choice CB.

    2. ZA_Gunner says:

      Playing players out of position is fine if it’s because of injuries but not the case when you are doing it in pre-season with the intent of playing them out of position. Players should know what their roles are so that they do a good job in that role, instead of confusing them here and there.

  2. skaymini says:

    well… to wat Wenger said maybe d guy can be use like hw song did in the same position then….. is gud anyway but it ll b OK if le prof can implement dis during only league cup…

  3. Jay says:

    It will be a great move as he’s very comfortable with the ball. I heard he started his footballing education from that position.We have many games this coming season so he will get handful of games in that position. News from some media are stating that we close to signing Lemar.

  4. gotanidea says:

    If Elneny can perform like Mascherano in the back, he would be an excellent choice to build the attack from the back. All top European teams have central defenders that can possess the ball very well on their feet, they don’t rely on central defenders that can only use their muscles and heights.

    Barcelona has Mascherano that has great vision and anticipation, because he was a great defensive midfielder. Juventus had Bonucci and Tottenham has Dier as their first attackers.

    I believe Elneny and Chambers can be Arsenal’s first attackers as well, if they play a lot as central defenders. The problem is Wenger needs faster improvement, otherwise the fans will scream at him again towards the end of this season… 😀

  5. Break-on-through says:

    No it means nothing. At the most it could mean Arsene wanting Elneny to be a little stronger in the tackle. But it’s just filling a position which we might be low on numbers with a CM player. Elneny would never be a CB in prem, not a good one anyway.

  6. McLovin says:

    Elneny is nothing above average. Let’s call spade a spade! And he was underwhelming as a CB, I don’t know what Wenger is on about but sounds like he’s trying to find another excuse for replacing BFG or Koscielny..

    How long will this experiment with Elneny go on? A year? Two? Damn sure it will be for too long before realizing it doesn’t work.

    1. Muffdiver wants change...not for arsenal...for.the vending machine, I'm thirsty as f### says:

      These words from.wenger are not encouraging

      I prefer words like…bosh, kerplunk, banzai,bingo,

      1. McLovin says:

        What about mee krab?

  7. John0711 says:

    Cheap cheap cheap

    You all need to see the Arsenal plan simply top 4. Cheal/city/Utd are miles ahead so the club are banking on us finishing above spuds/pool and Everton

  8. iffybright says:

    Pure below average, get him out asap…..

  9. Wolf says:

    That’s the cheapness of Wenger. No change, torrid season ahead

  10. Shortboygooner says:

    Guys we currently have chambers, holding, paulister, Mustafi. All unavailable that’s more than half of our Cbs.away due to injury or international duty. I don’t know about you guys but I am rather happy with how Mustafi started his arsenal career. Rob holding and Callum chambers both look promising. I think we have a very strong defence this is going to go tongue to get stronger with the young players we have. Elnanay is a pants player full stop and should be sold. But my point is I am sure Wenger will not be playing him in CB come the start of the season.

    1. McLovin says:

      Holding and Chambers are already back in training. So are Wilshere and Bellerin

  11. Mr pat says:

    I think it’s a good option about elneny, forget chambers who has been disappointing, and as for satchel he can bugger off ? telling us he is sick I hope he is for the rest of the season, truthfully we need two more signings to bolster the defence and midfield, interesting to see how man city will perform this season on them trashing real Madrid the other day.

  12. Mobella says:

    Wenger sure knows how to make some fans whine with his comments. Honestly, most of those comments are like red rag to a bull and he needs to stop playing with fans emotions. Though, i admire him. He is a master when it comes to conceal your intentions. He is just throwing us off the scent by dragging red herrings across the lane with that praises of Mo Elneny . We are talking about a player on whom bid of 10m pound was accepted. If he had not say no to Leicester city he would have being there player. Fans also need to work on there emotions. We get whined up easily by Wenger. Everybody knows the reason he played Mo at defence was because some of our defenders are on extended holiday. There is life after arsenal.

  13. Arsenal_Girl says:

    I hope Koscielny, Mustafi, Kolsanic, Mertsacker and Holding are healthy and fit most of the season.

    Even in League Cup we should play Nelson over Eleny

    Defenders should play in defense
    Midfielders should play in midfield
    People who specialise in certain areas are better than those who do not
    And to be honest, Eleny does not do a fantastic job in what he specialises in any way.

    If Wenger feels we need another CD, then he should just sign one.

  14. amb98 says:

    No, Elneny is not the answer. He played at CB because Holding, Mustafi and Holding were away and Mertesacker gad food poisoning. I do like Elneny as a CM though, he isn’t an amazing player but he is a reliable, honest player who understands his limitations, always giving a 6/7 out of 10 performance. A successful team needs a few players in this mould. I still feel we need to sign a quality centre back as Koscielny has injury problems, looks like Chambers is going, Mertesacker won’t be a regular, Gabriel is inconsistent and it may be too much for Holding to start every game.

  15. wilshegz says:

    When Alexis says he is ‘sick’, he is actually sick of Wenger like we fans…. I wonder why he gets criticised for being against something so obvious.
    …. Koscielny is the only reliable CB at Arsenal, the rest are either too young n inexperienced or simply inconsistent.
    Arsenal needs a CB especially considering we play a 3-man CB formation.
    get Van Dijk or Koulibaly

Comments are closed