Wenger - Why Elneny will suit our game

Mohamed Elneny
Mohamed Elneny

Arsène Wenger believes Mohamed Elneny’s mobility will help him quickly adjust to English football.

The 23-year-old Egypt international was signed from FC Basel earlier this month and could make his debut in Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round fixture against Burnley.

Wenger admits Elneny was “surprised by the intensity” of the Premier League match at Stoke City - where he was an unused substitute - but feels the midfielder has all the required attributes to succeed in north London.

“He’s not a monster,” the manager said. “Typically Middle Eastern people are very [wiry] with a big stamina and very agile.

“Sometimes they lack a bit of power, so he’s not a powerhouse, he's more of a mobility player. That’s why I think he can suit our game.

“Winning the ball is not only down to power, it’s about switching on at the right moment. It’s a technique.

“You have players who are muscular and they lose fights against small players who are very slim because the smaller players are able to switch on at the right moment.

“It’s a real technique to know when to switch on. I remember small defensive midfielders who were unbelievable defensively. They had that kind of technique.

“He’s 23 years old, he played for three years in Basel, won three championships in Switzerland, played against English teams like Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool. The next step is a big one for him because to come out of Switzerland and get to the Premier League is not easy but it’s the right age for him.”

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