Will Elneny ever become a regular Arsenal starter?

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 The Egyptian had to receive treatment in the first half, before he was withdrawn completely in the second 45 minutes of the match.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.



  1. Fatboy Gooney says:

    Elneny looked like a decent player when he first arrived at the club,
    No prizes for guessing who put the spanner in his works. ?

  2. Twig says:

    I don’t think so. He doesn’t tackle. He’s also not great going forward. Passes sideways mostly (similar to a former Arsenal player now sitting on City’s bench). What exactly is his role in this Arsenal team??

  3. pubgooner says:

    Wenger should get up now and watch the Pool v Leicester match. Then when complete he should rewind and watch it again. Then when complete he should rewind and watch it again. Then when complete he should rewind and watch it again. At least twenty times.. He will then have a good idea on how he will beat Pool. Instead of watching a blue movie and dreaming about the two year extension and the ten million pound cheque.

  4. GunnerJack says:

    “Elneny has good passing attributes…

    His passing is mostly sideways or backwards. For attacking, creative, FORWARD, passes then Xhaka is far better

    … and a physical presence on the pitch”

    Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha! Opponenets just brush past him as if he wasn’t there! Not exactly a N’Golo Kante then! I doubt he’d even make the bench at any of the other top 6 clubs.

  5. Arsenal_Girl says:

    We need a DM who is better than Coquelin and Eleney
    Wenger underestimates the impact of a Top DM, even though we had Viera
    Its hard for me to understand why Wenger can’t see how important Viera was

    When we lost to Monaco in CL, I was hoping Wenger could get Kondogbia
    When we lost the PL to Leicester, I was hoping Wenger would get Kante
    In summer I was hoping for Krychowiak, Schneiderlin, Carvalho
    But we just got Xhaka (which is good) but Wenger still ignores Defensive midfielders

    Most PL winning teams have top dm or box2box who are excellent defensively: Kante, Kompany, Toure, Matic, Roy Keane, Scholes, Viera

    Our attack was decent this season BUT we have let in too many goals

    We NEED a Top defensive midfielder and a Top LB too

  6. Harold says:

    I personally see El Neny as the best fit for Arsenal as a defensive midfielder ahead of both Xhaka and Coquelin. Elneny posess good ball retention has the stamina to moves all around the pitch to distribute the ball and close the opposition down. He also seems to have good say over the flow of Arsenal offensive game something which is lacking in both Xhaka and Coquelin game.

    When Xhaka or Coquelin plays Arsenal always seems to lose control and shape in games, the opposition tends to find lots of gaps and space all over the pitch and hence gains lots of possession. That is a result of their poor movement especially Xhaka who allow opposition players the time and space to charge him with the ball, his sluggish defending closely resemble that of Andre Santos seven years ago.

    The only reason why Xhaka plays ahead of El Neny is because Mr Wenger paid 35 million in transfer fee and £120,000 in weekly wages to him. The true price of Xhaka is 5 million is transfer fee and £40,000 in weekly wages.

  7. GoonAR says:

    I think El Neny can be a useful squad player but reinforcements are needed to progress as a club. Like many have said he plays too many backwards/sideways balls. With his role obviously some should be played but this guy could win a gold medal at the “Individual Backwards/Sideways Passing” event at the next Olympics.

  8. Jansen says:

    For me, Elneney should not be compared to Ozil or other creative midfielders but rather to DMs Xhaka and Coq. I prefer him over both Xhaka and Coq. He is a better passer than both of them in terms of pass completion at 92%. He is calmer on the ball than both of them. He is not an accident waiting to happen like Xhaka and he has more to offer going forward than Coq. I also think his positioning is better than Xhaka’s. Is he a champion in the making? I doubt that. Could we improve on the position? I guess we have to hope Xhaka will learn to tackle and improve in his second season next year.

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