Arsenal from January onwards was rife with disappointment and the new year brought with it a sense of underwhelming. The signing of Mohamed Elneny hardly captured imaginations for many and did little to immediately appease the disgruntled.
The Egyptian international took it all in his stride, the club so assured of his capabilities. Assurance is what Elneny brings, effectively bringing the ball forward and safely moving it about. His affect on the club was instant and composed. Elneny made his debut in late January but was quick to settle. His immediate influence saw him pick up Arsenal’s Player of the Month award for both March and April.
Bringing with him a sense of security he helped Arsenal to solidify their team play as the season drew to a close. On the ball the midfielder helps the team tick, mixing simplicity and calmness with energy and dependability. The 24-year-old seems to always be available, either for selection or on the pitch. Finding space so effectively and using the ball in the same way.
Elneny’s energy and pressing is just as impressive and set the tempo for Arsenal’s play in pre-season. A good passing range, supreme stamina and a willingness to put the collective above himself has seen Elneny become a vital member of the squad and with the arrival of Granit Xhaka he could be seen more in a box-to-box role.
Much like Borussia Monchengladbach’s setup last season, Xhaka could sit the deeper of the two with Elneny just in front. The Swiss midfielder controlling the game and switching the play whilst Elneny, the more mobile player, helps Arsenal to press and bring the ball forward.
Elneny will be hoping to maintain his consistent impact for Arsenal in the coming season, his first full season at the club. In five months the Egyptian settled, broke Premier League passing records and developed into a well-rounded squad member. Mohamed Elneny’s early Arsenal career is an admirable base to build upon as the new season looms.
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