Arsène Wenger says Egyptian fans can be proud of Mohamed Elneny for the way he has worked to get a move to the Premier League.

After starting his career in his homeland, the defensive midfielder spent three years with FC Basel in Switzerland before signing for Arsenal on Thursday.

Wenger believes Elneny’s journey to north London will encourage players back in Egypt that they could follow in his path.

“I think the Egyptian fans should be proud of Elneny first because, through his quality and his work, his dedication, he managed to get a transfer like this,” the manager said.

“On our side I think we have shown once again that no matter where you come from, if we think you are good enough, you get a chance, and that’s what we did with Elneny.

“I bought Elneny because he can play with a defensive player and as well he can be the defensive player. Where will his ultimate strength be? I need to know more about him with daily contact to see how well he can win the ball in the Premier League. That will be decisive to transform him into a more defensive or much more of a box-to-box player.

“I expect him to develop into a very strong player because he has both sides of the game, he can defend and he can attack and that’s the way we want to play in midfield.”

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Rob Kelly 15 Jan 2016