In arguably one of the most disturbing news reports we’ve heard in a while, imminent Arsenal signing Mohamed Elneny could miss a year of Premier League football before he’s even played his first Arsenal game, according to the Mirror.
The report suggests the 23-year-old may be forced into compulsory military service with Egypt, although thankfully it doesn’t have to be right now.
The rules state that either the Egyptian international must qualify for exclusion from conscription, or he must complete a year’s military service before he’s 30. This would be a massive blow if it were to happen while he’s an Arsenal player, even more so if he opted to join up sooner rather than later.
This transfer is starting to bring back bad memories of one of our previous January signings Kim Kallstrom, who had a serious injury even before we signed him – a fact known by Arsene Wenger when he loaned him (via Sky Sports).
It’s highly likely that Elneny will qualify for exemption on the grounds of sporting excellence, as Mohamed Salah did after his switch to Chelsea (via the Mirror). The winger was unquestionably a failure at Stamford Bridge, so if Elneny even becomes a squad player at Arsenal you’d expect him to be afforded the same luxuries.
The report suggests the hold up in the Elneny deal was due to Arsene Wenger figuring out how to deal with this issue, but things now seem resolved.
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Arsenal transfer news
Whether this means Wenger has come to terms with the possibility that his new signing will miss a year of football, or we’ve managed to get the FC Basel midfielder excused from military service, we’ll just have to wait and see.