A defensive midfielder is high on our list of priorities this January, with Francis Coquelin out for quite some time with an injury (via Arsenal.com). And it seems as though we’ve agreed a deal for FC Basel’s Mohamed Elneny, with a fee already agreed, according to Swiss publication Aargauer Zeitung (via the Metro).
An exact amount for the Egyptian international hasn’t been touted, but it the report is to be believed it’s somewhere between the £10m and £20m mark. That would be a bit of a bargain compared to some of the other names we’ve been linked to, although quality is obviously far more important than price.
We can obviously afford to fork out any amount if we really want, but we know what Arsene Wenger is like when it comes to getting a bargain.
Whatever fee we pay for Elneny however, it doesn’t appear as though we’d be stuck for quality. He’s won three Swiss titles with Basel, and has been a consistent performer throughout his time there.
He’s still young at just 23-years-old, so has plenty of time to learn the Arsenal way of playing.
He’s arguably not the dedicated defensive midfielder we need, as he is often utilised as more of a deep lying playmaker. He has great vision, has superb passing range, and excels at long-shots. Certainly not your typical defensive midfielder, but when Coquelin returns he’d offer as a somewhat different option.
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Much like Aaron Ramsey, he has seemingly endless stamina and energy, which allows him to play the box-to-box role as well if required. It’s hard to find another player similar, as he boasts traits from the likes of Ramsey, Coquelin, and Mikel Arteta.
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He’s not likely to be a game changer, but he certainly seems like he’d be an able bodied deputy to Coquelin. The interest certainly seems concrete, but we’ll have to wait another few weeks to see if a move comes to fruition.
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