For quite some time now, our move for FC Basel midfielder Mohamed Elneny has seemed a matter of when rather than if. And the ‘when’ looks like it may well be today, with the Egyptian flying in to London to finalise the move, according to the Metro (via the Daily Star).
Elneny looks set to be our first signing of the January transfer window, although Arsenal fans will be hoping not the last. The 23-year-old will fill a serious void in our squad, with defensive midfield a real problem area for us in recent years.
We’ve lacked a proper defensive midfielder ever since Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva left the club, and have only recently seen the benefit of a proper anchorman thanks to the resurgence of Francis Coquelin.
Despite Arsene Wenger’s naivety when it comes to injuries however, we all know you can’t run a club with only one player in each position. Having just Coquelin in a role as important as defensive midfield is foolhardy, as we’ve seen during his recent absence.
Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta are no longer able to step up and do the job adequately, while Calum Chambers is yet to show he has the experience to play the role of our sole defensive midfielder.
Elneny is not quite in the same mould as Coquelin, but he certainly looks like he’ll add something to our midfield. He’s got athleticism, he’s an excellent passer of the ball, and has defensive qualities too.
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As the Metro’s report suggests, Arsene Wenger is looking to make two signings this January. Elneny’s £7.4m move (via the Metro) seems all but over the line, so hopefully the Frenchman is already working on the second signing.
Arsenal transfer news
Even if the deal does get over the line today, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be announced immediately. Wenger may wait for his pre-game press conference, or at least until Elneny can be presented in an Arsenal shirt.