Arsenal legend Ray Parlour believes new Arsenal signing Mohamed Elneny needs to start ahead of Mathieu Flamini this weekend, as the Egyptian international offers far more mobility than his French counterpart, as reported by the Express.
Flamini and Calum Chambers have done a decent job in Francis Coquelin’s absence, but we’ve looked far more lightweight when either have been in the side. We quickly became accustomed to having Coquelin in midfield, and as unquestionably one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League, he offered our back line a huge amount of protection.
This protection just isn’t there with Chambers or Flamini on the pitch, and hopefully Elneny can remedy that. Parlour mentions mobility, and that is certainly a key part of the role, and a huge positive for the 23-year-old.
He has energy levels comparable to Aaron Ramsey, and with FC Basel could be ssen tirelessly trekking across the pitch for the full 90 minutes. Flamini just isn’t up to it anymore, and play regularly passes him by when it gets up to full speed.
Parlour claims this is the main reason the £7.4m signing (via the Express) needs to play against Stoke City this Sunday, and it’s hard to disagree.
“Elneny will play in midfield, and they do need another player in there,” Parlour said.
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“Mathieu Flamini’s doing a decent job with Francis Coquelin out, but at 23 years old Elneny’s got that little bit more mobility, he’s good in the tackle and efficient on the ball.”
This weekend could arguably be too soon for the three time Swiss league champion, as he’s barely had any time to train and settle in with the squad. It would be good to at least see him make an appearance though, even if he doesn’t start.
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Away to Stoke is a tricky fixture, and we can’t afford to be anything less than at our best. Mark Hughes as the Potters playing at an incredibly high level this season, and we will need to be defensively solid if we want to keep the likes of Bojan and Mark Arnautovic out.