We are welcoming a new writer to Gunners Town and how timely that his first article assesses the impact of Mo Elneny, just as he scoops the Arsenal Player of the Month award – Luke Smith @thegoonerway
So the newly added Egyptian midfielder that joined us in January hasn’t hit the headlines big early on but has he done the job that he came in to do?
As the international break is upon us, now is the perfect time to take a look at his performances and come to the conclusion whether he is a HIT or a MISS. He came from FC Basel for a fee of around 5 million, where he made 91 appearances in 2 and a half seasons, he was highly rated especially in the first half of the 2015/16 season playing 28 times scoring 6 goals, for a midfielder that’s not a bad statistic at all. The 23-year-old all-round midfielder was eventually confirmed as signing for us on the 14th of January. However many Arsenal fans had been searching him up on YouTube and even having a little play with him on FIFA before he even joined us as rumours seemed to go on and on! Finally, he had signed for us and was assigned the shirt number 35.
So 8 starts later, how has he faired?
Well the first thing that comes to many Arsenal fans when asked what his best moment has been thus far, a lot of them will reply the Goal at Camp Nou. Now for those of you who have watched those YouTube clips of him will know that he has a great hit on him, but the Barcelona goal was different, it was in many ways the perfect finish in a game in which the pressure was on and the atmosphere was crazy.
How about his debut, it came in Arsenals 2-1 win against Burnley on 30th of January. He pretty much summed up what he’s all about, showing desire, he was full of energy both up and down the pitch and also showed great ball work. Elneny was given his first Premier League start in the possible title deciding North London Derby, doesn’t get much bigger does it? However, the Egyptian showed great composure and didn’t let the occasion get to him at all, he was very well disciplined while his midfield partner Francis was sent marching orders early on in the second half. After that performance a lot of fans will want to see more of him, especially with the important title run in coming up.
Now, while he has impressed early on there are still many questions that are being asked. Can he be a star? Well not many people can tell this early on, he seems to have settled quite well but he isn’t a name that has been given great potential for the future nor is he a “big name” that a lot of the Arsenal fans have been calling for. Is he the back up to Coquelin or is he competing with him? He’s more of an all-round midfielder than Coquelin who is a defensive one, I think for the moment he is a backup to the likes of Coquelin, Ramsey and Cazorla/Wilshere when they finally return. Is he what we are missing? This is an important one because he isn’t what we are really missing, from recent performances I think most people will agree that it’s pretty obvious what we are missing most, yes, you read my mind, A STRIKER, although it’s great to have a big squad full of great players and great potential, he wasn’t a necessity.
Of course these questions will be asked over and over until he gets more game time and shows more of what he’s all about but from early signs I would say he’s a HIT because for me he has barely put a foot wrong on the pitch, showing great signs, hopefully a great player.