Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny has revealed that the scouts who found him were in fact watching a teammate of his before snapping up the Egyptian.
The 24-year-old, who made the move to The Emirates from Basel in January of this year, admitted that scouts from North London spotted him whilst they were watching Swiss midfielder Fabian Schar.
Speaking to DMC Sports (via the Daily Star), the holding midfielder said:
“I was very happy when I joined Arsenal but I asked one of my friends how the negotiations started and if they had scouted me before,
“He told me that Arsenal officials were scouting Fabian Schar in the first place, and that’s when they noticed me.”
The scout’s original target, who spent three years with Basel, now plies his trade for Bundesliga side, Hoffenheim. However, Elneny revealed that the Switzerland international was on the verge of a move to Arsenal.
He continued; “All of us at Basel knew that Schar was linked with Arsenal and at every season’s end, we congratulated him as the move was close to completion, according to Schar himself. But afterwards, things changed quickly.
“My agent told me that Arsenal officials came many times to watch Schar but they were impressed every time by my performances and development and they went on to sign me instead.”
Since moving to the Premier League, the Egypt international has made 29 appearances for Arsene Wenger’s side but has been used mainly as a substitute in his time at the club.
His most memorable moment thus far in a Gunners shirt is undoubtedly his one and only goal, a wonderful finish from the edge of the box at the Nou Camp against Barcelona in the Champions League.