Arsenal completed their first outfield signing in nearly 12 months when they confirmed the £5m capture of Egypt international Mohamed Elneny from FC Basel earlier this month.
But how much do you know about the Gunners’ latest January addition? Shoot takes a closer look at Arsene Wenger’s new highly-rated midfielder…
Why have Arsenal bought him?
Following recent injuries to fellow midfielders Tomas Rosicky, Jack Wilshere, Francis Coquelin, Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla; Arsenal boss Wenger felt it was necessary to reinforce his creative ranks in the centre of the park with Elneny’s arrival to ensure the Gunners stay on track for their first Premier League title in 12 years. The 23-year-old, who has 42 international caps for Egypt, is also highly-rated in European football and will look to become a long-term successor to the likes of Arteta, Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini at the Emirates Stadium. The former FC Basel star is also available to play in Arsenal’s UEFA Champions League campaign as the Switzerland outfit did not qualify for the tournament this season.
Will he be a good signing?
Arguably Arsenal’s biggest weakness when you delve through their entire squad is alternative options to Coquelin’s services in defensive midfield. However Elneny’s arrival is set to fill that hole given the Egyptian’s restless work-rate, determination and desire to win the ball in the middle of the park. But it is not just the midfielder’s defensive attributes that convinced Wenger that he could star for the Gunners this season as Elneny also possesses an attacking prowess having scored six and assisted two goals in 28 appearances in all competitions for FC Basel this season. The 23-year-old has also developed a keen eye for goal from long-range and an impressive passing range during his time in Switzerland; a necessity for an Arsenal player, so manager Wenger will be tempted to nurture Elneny into a dynamic box-to-box midfielder to suit his defensive and offensive natural style of play. All the statistics point towards a shrewd piece of business from the Gunners this New Year.