The latest name doing the rounds on the Arsenal rumour mill is FC Basel’s Mohamed Elneny, and a deal is all but concluded, according to the Mirror. The Egyptian international is seemingly on the verge of an Arsenal transfer, with the report claiming personal terms are all that need to be agreed.
Elneny has been excellent for the Swiss side ever since his arrival, lifting three titles during his time at the club. He certainly has the quality we need, and with the fee being touted a relatively low one, it could prove a real bargain.
The Mirror suggests the fee will be somewhere in the region of £5m, which sounds very much like an Arsene Wenger signing. We know the Frenchman isn’t a huge fan of the January transfer window, and if he can find a stop-gap or a bargain acquisition then it seems likely that he’ll jump at the chance.
We are badly in need of a back-up for Francis Coquelin, and Mathieu Flamini just isn’t able to do the job anymore. Elneny wouldn’t be a like for like replacement for the young Frenchman, but he certainly looks capable of playing the role. He’s more of a deep lying playmaker than a defensive midfielder, but he possesses excellent tackling and positioning qualities too.
We’ve been linked with a whole host of defensive midfielders over the last few seasons, and it’s not like this has suddenly become a problem position for us. We’ve needed additions in midfield for years, and have consequently been linked with every defensive midfielder under the sun.
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Elneny is unlikely to be the player the majority of Arsenal fans wanted to see arriving at the Emirates – in fact many may not have even heard of him – but he could turn out to be the player we need. He’d not only be able to play in Coquelin’s absence, but alongside him too. The 23-year-old has an excellent passing range and a wicked long-shot, and is arguably unlike anyone else we’ve got in the squad.
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