Opinion: Elneny has given Mikel Arteta something to think about

Mohamed Elneny started his first league game for Arsenal since early 2019 and the Egyptian is thankful to Mikel Arteta for giving him another chance to play for the Gunners.

He was declared surplus to requirements at the Emirates by Unai Emery last season and the Spanish manager sent him out on loan to Besiktas.

He was in fine form for the Turkish side and they were keen to retain him, but for their financial struggles.

He is also being targeted by other top Turkish teams and he was expected to make another loan move away from the Emirates.

However, he has now started Arsenal’s last two competitive games and did well for himself.

He was in the team as the Gunners played against Liverpool in the Community Shield and he was also fielded in the Premier League opener against Fulham.

He was in fine form in both games and he seems to have something that Arteta needs from his midfielders.

The Gunners have been linked with a move for a top midfielder like Thomas Partey in this transfer window.

However, they have a small summer transfer budget, I wonder if Elneny can eventually help the Gunners save the transfer fee for a top midfielder.

Personally, if Elneny continues to play well then it makes sense for Arsenal to save the money as there is no guarantee that the likes of Partey would do any better in the Premier League.

An article from Ime

Tags Mohamed Elneny


  1. To be honest, I love Elneny and have watched him closely ever since he was a youngster since we’re both Egyptian. Still, I doubt he has the “talent” to be that rock in midfield for us. He is the hardest working on the pitch and I think that’s what MA appreciates, and he’s not bad at all and has been a good performer in both games. But Partey would still be a huuuge improvement in all aspects of the game.

    That being said however, if the “rumors” are true and we might be landing only one of our two targets, Aouar or Partey, I would definitely keep Elneny and get Aouar signed. That’s a position we desperately need some fresh legs at, while we have half a dozen options in central midfield. Elneny, a much improved Xhaka, Ceballos, Joe willock and that’s without counting Guendozi who’ll probably end up leaving.

    Oh how I’ve missed having the good kind of problems 🙂 COYG

    1. Our midfield is abysmal without any incomings

      Elneny is absolute trash. Nonpenetrative passes, no flair, poor positionally, doesn’t assist, doesn’t score, can’t carry the ball.

      Xhaka: can’t carry the ball, call dribble, no pace, no agility, can’t tackle, doesn’t assist enough, doesn’t score enough

      Willock: youth prospect, needs time and minutes to develop

      Cebellos : best of a bad bunch look forward to seeing him this season no problem with him.

      Torreira: has the physical attributes of bilbo baggins, moaning about missing italy

      Guendouzi: highly overrated and petulant throws his toys out regularly should be sold to whatever mug is silly enough to take him

      IF we are serious about top four we need a player of Parteys mould AND Aouar and let’s stop trying to flog these dead horses

      1. In a top class competitive EPL side, the midfielders Arsenal currently has are good backups to make up the numbers.
        The question is how much ambition does Arsenal have? Is the Board going to back Mikel Arteta with the players he wants and needs?

      2. When one analyzes football you would know that we are lacking quality midlfielders…. who is Elneny to Arsenal… he is not even better than torreira to be honest.
        People are praising him basing on the the two games he just features,, Let tell you guys,, analyze the games,, what did elneny do besides jus playing safe passes,, side ways passes, and backwards… that all he does when he is in the team… l hate that Arsenal and other people rate him….

        1. @Marshal…
          You obviously didn’t watch the game against Fulham. Elneny almost scored a super goal after beating a player with his left and laying the ball into the right with his right leg, sending the goalie the wrong direction. The ball was removed by a sliding defender. Of course, you won’t see that, his tackles and distribution or any thing he did. It’s called BIAZ!

          Just a little reminder for those that watched the game. Xhaka was removed in game, while elneny was left for 90mins. I guess Arteta was wrong as well.

  2. Will people stop putting every player who has a solid game on a pedestal that isnt deserving. Elnenny goes about his business with his mouth shut, is a lovely lad and can play football. He isn’t good enough to be a regular for Arsenal. All the people that write these articles are just making it a shooting match for him. He doesn’t deserve the knocking and he doesn’t deserve the overhyping either. He is a good squad player at best, if he stays as a squad player, im happy, if he is played as a regular we are not improving our weak midfield and we shouldn’t be expecting him to play and dominate, which is what we need from our midfield, not a nice stroller.

    1. I had to join just to say, ^^ This ^^, exactly this!

      One or two or 10 good matches does not equal the second coming of Bergkamp, Henry, or Viera.

  3. I have argued in the past that we should probably keep Elneny and give him the chance to show us how much he has improved during his spell on loan. Arteta, who has a history of getting the best out of our players, knows his game very well too.
    And now, just after two games back, everyone is winking, giving him a second look in this period of uncertainty regarding Partey and Aouar. Maybe, Elneny, partnering with Granit in the base of our midfield, could be the most cost-effective solution to our problem. And for creativity, we could turn to, Dani, Willian and the young ERS.
    Probably, this would not be such a bad worse case scenario, if we fail to sign our midfield targets.

    1. WOW!!!! Wait till we play the likes of Everton, Spurs, Villa with this midfield pair and see us struggle to maintain possesion and create enough chances. Don’t forget who Elneny is. He is not bad, neither is he good enough to start for Arsenal. Both Aouar and Partey are required. It is non-negotiable, else, we’ll struggle again this season.

      1. We played the likes of liverpool with that exact elneny midfield not to mention chelsea/city with the ceballos option.

        1. Angus, there is a big difference between winning single games, particularly knock out cup games and the consistency required to win games over a long arduous EPL season. The table will not lie at the end of the day.

  4. @Pharaoh, I am inclined to agree with your assertions and those expressed by Admini Martin on Elneny.

    If Arteta and Edu will respect our own takes on Elneny and those of the Gooners who are in support to see him allowed to remain at the club this summer. Which the 2 clun’s bosses could, as us Gooners are not professionals like them in this area of endeavour but just mere armchair football coaches.

    But notwithstanding, I think both Arteta and Edu should take a hard look at Elneny if they hadn’t already to have a 2nd thought on their media reported plan proposing to send out Elneny on loan this summer.

    For, if the 2 Arsenal chiefs actualised their loan out plan for Elneny, would it not negate their plan to first look inwards at the club as they are developing or have developed top quality players of their own to take and use to take on a job for Arsenal. And be very efficient in doing the job the duo chiefs want done in the team for the Arsenal and execute the job to the very letter.

    But personally, I say I think Elneny fit this bill to do the defensive midfield holding job very well for Arsenal as required he should do at the top level of the game that is being demanded by the Gunners manager.

    But there could be an issue that should immediately be delt with when it’s arise to not allow the performance of the team to suffer culminating to Arsenal dropping valuable points the club should have collected as the Gunners campaign in the Premier League this season to win the title.

    Therefore, and to the effect to have a very strong option in holding midfielder in team to cover for Elneny should his playing form dropped or he got injured, Arsenal should give it what it takes this summer and try to sign a top quality grade holding midfielder. But I wouldn’t know the holding midfielder the club should sign. But the generality of the Gooners are suggesting that the club should sign one Thomas Partey for this purpose to help and assist Elneny do the holding midfielder job for the Arsenal this summer.

    Nevertheless, but how about if as alternative to getting Partey signed, Arsenal instead go after Lille’s Amaduo Diawara to sign him this summer who is reported to be another top quality grade holding midfielder that Arsenal could sign him to drop the expensive to sign Partey.

    But it is said by the Yorubas in Nigeria that, Obe To Dun, Owo Lo Paku. Meaning in English: The Soup That Is Sweet, It Is Money That Made It So.

  5. Some fans are expecting Elneny to play the role of Kevin DeBruyne or Pogba lol.

    That criticism should be set aside for Willock, Ceballos, Xhaka who’s role are similar to KDB or Pogba.

    However, Elneny is not the player we need for us to win CL or the PL.

    1. We aren’t playing in the champions League yet. We aren’t at a level to be challenging for the League yet (outside of a lot of luck, which is possible). This is a rebuilding project. Arsenal has suffered with regards to transfers in recent years. A lot of changes need to happen. Stop judging us on competitions that we aren’t in.

      For now, for the fight for the top four, element would have a place, and would do a job. We need partey, but he won’t play every game.

      Ps who mentioned Kevin de bruyne and pogba?

  6. We are not looking for “good enough,” we are looking for “wins the League.” A basis of good enough players is required, but to actually win you want to salt that with some absolute top players. I think both Aouar and Partey could reach that category, each in his own way.

    At the moment, I’d say Auba is our only first-rank player. Willian almost. Saka, Martinelli, Pepe, Gabriel, maybe Saliba, might get there in the future.

    I was very much up for Diawara at one point, until I read that he has been injured more than Partey. According to transfermarkt, Partey missed 5 games in 2015-16 (hamstring) and 1 game in 2019-20 (hamstring). Diawara missed 13 games in 2018-19 (muscle injury) and 19 games in 2019-20 (two separate meniscal injuries).

  7. With Manager Arteta’s skills in raising tactical footballers forms to fine foms, I suggest that Arsenal should leave out Partey and Mike will turn Elneny to fine form, since midfield is his natural position
    Maitland will servein midfield as well

  8. Is Elneny a replacement for a Partey or Aouar, no, but then again Arteta isnt using him like that, I also highly doubt that either Arteta or Elneny expects him to start too many games.
    Elneny is what he has always been for us, perhaps a bit better than before, but he is still a steady squad player with some shortcomings that can be exploited by some of the other teams.
    Im sure Arteta will use him to cover for injured/tired players and where possible against teams that are not likely to expose his weaknesses.
    Dont forget, whilst we all hope Arsenal challenge for the league, the real target this season is financial survival (thanks to last years shortfall and the lack of gate receipts) and to qualify for the Champions league.
    Against that backdrop, however much we would like to have both Partey and Aouar come to Arsenal, it has to be acknowledged that it may not be possible to bring in even one of them. Fingers crossed we can, but it isnt certain.

    1. Something we have learned since Arteta take over the job. Its how you guide and instruct player to be. Weird most of d deadwood back then, perform better now. Is it player suddenly change or its a way of coach? Well, Credits to Arteta.

  9. The delusion is unreal! Elneny is a good squad player and thats it! Partey is still a must! I cant believe im hearing all this talk about not needing partey because we have elneny just because he did good against a weak fulham side.. Just wait till we struggle and then you’d be eating your fingers in agony if we didnt sign anyone in midfield

    1. Negative/weak fans like you embarrass the club. Would love a midfield addition and wouldnt be surprised if we got two but if only we could convince the sour side of our fanbase to leave, better than any signing that would be. Weak fulham pfft xGC of 0.15 last seen 5 years ago away. Newcastle that day who had 10 men for 70 mins but yeah pretend we were not speciall saturday.

  10. Delusional is spouting opinions without looking at what is happening. I disagree that we don’t need partey, we do, but it’s clear as day that arteta is getting more out of players. Not seeing that is delusional in itself

    1. True, but it could also be “new manager syndrome”. Even Emery took us on a 22 unbeaten game run. I just don’t believe a player like El Neny can transform. Him, Guendouzi, Holding, AMN should all be sold.

  11. Kroenke has to do something and fund this team with at least 50 million pounds so we can get both targets Partey and Aouar. If we can get this two, we are going to have good options should in case if there is any injury. He, Kroenke should understand that Arteta is doing a great job and players are ready to play for him. Not making the top four last season wasn’t arteta’s fault twas coz of the pandemic. Coz before the lockdown Arteta’s side was in a good form. And other teams were dropping due to most injuries in every team. Coz I can bet if not for that we gonna finish at least fourth in the table. But with the help of the lockdown, it helps most team recovered most of their injured players. Mr Kroenke should please fund this team and lest have a wonderful options in every area, coz when you lose today, you win tomorrow. Trust me. That’s what making other teams succeed. Take Eden Hazard and some other players as example. Had it been Arsene wenger signed him before Chelsea then, our club would have gotten that amount from Madrid. So this man should please if truly he wants the best for us, then fund this team for us. I so much believe in Mikel Arteta.

  12. I think we are only going to buy one of Partey and Aouar with the latter is our primary target.
    Unless we sell our one or two of our holding midfielders(Torreira/Elneny/Xhaka/AMN) we’re not going to buy Partey. Ceballos can play deeper if we can manage to acquire the service of Aouar and we can play Aouar on a more advanced midfield position(or on the left) If Elneny stays i don’t see the need to purchase Partey. Elneny/Xhaka, Ceballos/Xhaka can do a decent job in midfield.
    Btw i would like to see Willock on loan to get more game time and hone his skills further. ESR too if we got Aouar

  13. Elneny has been around just like all other prayers in the past seasons.but if we really need to smile back as arsenal fans. For i believe in strengthening the midflied, bring in party and aurar..
    Create competition in the midfield,then the outcome would probably be a positive for Arsenal fam

      1. What about teams that sit back and defend or teams that press high e.g leeds? Both cases require quick, strong, tricky midfielders. Imagine pressing Elneny and Xhaka, we won’t create anything.

  14. There is no reason not to be spoilt of choice. If Man City with KDB, Silva, Gud, and still want to buy Aoura (according to reports) there is no reason we can’t have Elneny AND Partey. We can use a Auora/Xhaka/Partey midfield for tough teams. And who knows the Egyptian can turn to Elnenydinho under Arterta, just ask Rob.

  15. Don’t be blinded and miss what we need. To stop signing a midfield dynamo because of Elneny would be insanity and really damage our chances. Elneny is a competent midfielder……purely that competent. We have often been deluded and missed vital opportunities and right now Partey and the class act Houssem Aouar are the ones. We need either a powerhouse or a maestro, Partey and Aouar are those players.

  16. Elneny is going no where! Here reminds me of Arteta in his playing days for us(not Everton), only that Elneny is better defensively. He keeps the ball flowing, collects at ackward situation and look for the safe pass. He keeps the ball flowing and distribute when need be. That’s Elneny for you.

    I am sure Arteta sees more of himself in Elneny, and understands the need for those qualities in the deep lying midfield ESP when playing out from the back.

    My opinion is that Elneny will be a mainstay in our midfield this season, and by the end of the season a lot of you here would eat your words (Rio Ferdinand).

  17. Can anyone tell me how Aour would fit into the present 3-4-3 system used by Arteta where the two midfield cogs are basically limited to recycling the ball rather than providing any real drive and creativity .In essence ,is there a need for a creative midfielder in this defensive set up which it has to be said is proving very effective or would acquiring someone like Aour enable Arteta to switch to a more attack minded system?To me if 3-4-3 is to become our norm, there is no need to buy Aour.

    1. He can’t. There is nowhere for an advanced midfielder to play in our current 343.

      If we sacrifice a CB for Aouar as an advanced 8, we will get absolutely run through, because our central midfield provides no cover.

      Aouar is at least no worse defensively than Xhaka, but replacing Xhaka means that every time Aouar gets forward, all we have is Ceballos and 3 CBs. While Dani is improving a lot defensively under Arteta, he is not ready to play as (effectively) a single pivot.

  18. I get peeded off with you so called armchair managers if we bought all the players you are suggesting and they cannot hack it in the EPL you will be the first to say why did we buy him LEAVE it to the people who know sit back and relax for fecks we just got 3 points ENJOY

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