He received waves of criticism in the summer for not signing an outfield player, but Arsene Wenger won’t be making the same mistake twice as he closes in on a deal for Basel’s Mohamed Elneny.
Despite spending most of the season without the best part of 10 first-team players, Wenger has led his Gunners to the top of the Premier League, but the Frenchman knows more is required for a sustained title bid.
Mohamed Elneny is reported to have cost the north London club around £5m, and the Egyptian brings a handy amount of experience and versatility.
Elneny began his career with El Mokawloon, before joining Swiss side Basel in January 2013.
In addition to helping the side claim that season’s Premier Division title, Elneny will already be in Gooners’ good books for helping dump Tottenham out of the Europa League quarter-finals.
The 23-year-old played every minute of both legs as Basel knocked Spurs out on penalties three seasons ago, before succumbing to Chelsea in the last four.
Arsenal’s new man can also count one over on Liverpool, having started both meetings against the Merseysiders in last season’s Champions League group stage.
A home win followed by a 1-1 draw at Anfield in the final group game ensured Basel progressed to the last 16 at Brendan Rodgers’ and Liverpool’s expense.
Capped nearly 40 times by Egypt, Elneny has a wealth of experience for his age, as well as a sizeable 5ft 11in frame to bring to battle in the physical Premier League.
The Egyptian has never been sent off either, despite his role in the centre of the park – suggesting a cool head on young shoulders – and all told Arsene Wenger looks to have made a very shrewd signing.
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