Arsenal new boy Mohamed Elneny has joined the team for his first training session, with Arsene Wenger’s latest acquisition hoping to be ready for Premier League action as soon as possible.
He’s looking good in Arsenal colours, and hopefully we get to see him on the pitch rather than in the training kit soon.
The young defensive midfielder may not be integrated 100% immediately, but with options limited in midfield Wenger will be keen to see him starting games soon.
He has opted for the No. 35 shirt following his arrival in north London, with the news announced after confirmation of his signing on Wednesday, as reported by The Independent.
We’ve been waiting for the £7.4m (via The Independent) switch to happen for weeks now, with Elneny’s switch to Arsenal another one of those ‘football’s worst kept secrets‘ we hear about so often. Repeated delays meant the deal only finally went through this week though, although the 23-year-old may well now be eligible to play against Stoke City this weekend.
The midfielder is delighted to have made the switch to the Emirates, and speaking to Arsenal Player he revealed his admiration for Arsene Wenger.
“It is an indescribable feeling, I am really glad of course,” he said.
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“Arsenal is one of the world’s greatest teams, and I am very keen to participate positively with my new team, God willing, and to give my best for the team and for myself.
“Arsenal is one of those teams that everyone enjoys watching and of course I would love to play for such a great team.
“Mr Wenger is a highly respected manager and one of the world’s best managers. It is my honour to be trained under his management.
“It is one the biggest clubs in the world, I know everything about it and its players.
“I would like to tell [the fans] that, although you have not seen much of me, I promise I will contribute positively with the team. I am hoping that we win the Premier League and cup this season, and the Champions League as well.”
We’ll have to wait and see whether he’s ready to face Stoke this weekend, as it may well prove to soon for the Swiss league title winner. He will barely have had any training time with the team, and playing in defensive midfield is not a role you can just walk into. You need to understand the movements and the limitations of your teammates, plugging gaps and cutting out attacks where necessary.
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We haven’t exactly struggled for results in Francis Coquelin’s absence, but we’ve certainly looked more lightweight and vulnerable. Mathieu Flamini and Calum Chambers have performed well, but they unfortunately aren’t close to the young Frenchman’s level. Although Elneny is a different type of player, hopefully he can provide us with a bit more solidity and fill in for Coquelin over the next month or so.