Mohamed Elneny still has role to play at Arsenal

Mohamed Elneny could remain at Arsenal for the upcoming season, and I for one am not overly annoyed.


It is looking like Mikel Arteta will favour 433 once he has all the pieces of the puzzle in place.

That means Arsenal will need 6 central midfielders to cover the 3 positions – and a mixture of out and defensive, box to box and more creative players.

At the club we currently have:

Granit Xhaka (Defensive)
Dani Ceballos (Box to box / Creative)
Lucas Torreira (Box 2 box / Defensive)
Matteo Guendouzi (Box to box)
Mohamed Elneny (Defensive / Box to Box)
Joe Willock (Box to box)

So 6 into 3 goes well – although that 6 does lack creativity.

We are then heavily linked with Thomas Partey (box to box / defensive) and Houssem Aouar (creative).

Partey would be a “like for like “ swap with Lucas Torreira, whilst Houssem Aouar would offer Arteta a more creative option  over Matteo Guendouzi.

That would then see us with:

Granit Xhaka (Defensive)
Dani Ceballos (Box to box / Creative)
Thomas Partey (Box 2 box / Defensive)
Houssem Aouar (Creative)
Mohamed Elneny (Defensive / Box to Box)
Joe Willock (Box to box)
Willian can also play deeper, but he is also more of a creative outlet rather than being defensive or box to box.

Elneny would provide good cover for Xhaka in the middle.


Fact is, Arsenal do not raise much money by selling Mohamed Elneny.

I am sure the club would rather keep Lucas Torreira and sell the Egyptian, but you are looking at one player raising close to £25million, whilst the other less than £10million.

Elneny would not provide us with the cash needed to push through a deal for Partey or Auoar.


Likewise, Elneny is only on a reported £50,000 a week, which does not really pay for much these days.

Best Xhaka back up

If we sold Elneny alongside Torreira and Guendouzi; and signed the two aforementioned player, we would have 5 midfielders. That feels light.

So could we get better than Elneny for the transfer fee he would command, and the wages he is on? Probably not.

An argument could be made that Ainsley Maitland-Niles could be the 6th midfielder, but his services might be required elsewhere. Likewise some might see Willian as being the 6th midfield. But then we do not really have the defensive cover for Xhaka.

It would mean either playing Partey, Ceballos or Willock in the middle of the 3.

This would restrict both players who like to roam and press. The middle man needs to be fairly static.

Elneny between the two would be our strongest midfield if Xhaka was out


There has never been a hint of trouble around Elneny though out his career. He is a solid professional.

He is the exact character and ability you would want in your 2nd string.

Squad Balance

To build a squad, you need great balance – in position and ability.

There is no point having a midfield entirely made up of Xavi’s, you need a Bousquet. Likewise a midfield of Bousquet’s needs a Xavi.

You can not have a squad of 25 superstars. The ego’s will clash. You need some players who accept that they are second string, and happy to do so.

Elneny will provide the midfield with some balance, and would also understand he is a squad player, not a starter.

He might be one of those players that many have on the “sell” list, but Mo Elneny is also a player that still has a role to play in Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal.



3 thoughts on “Mohamed Elneny still has role to play at Arsenal

  1. Okwuchukwu

    In all you analysis, you never mentioned Ozil. The last time I checked, he is still an Arsenal player and plays in the attacking midfield position.
    There is nothing about Mohamed Elneny’s quality that makes him just a squad player. Some of these uninformed views directed at players from abroad with the intention of presenting them as inferior is completely unnecessary and uncalled for.


    1. keenosafc Post author

      Mesut Ozil is not a central midfielder capable in playing in a flat 3. he needs to be played in the hole between a midfield 2 and the forwards. My belief is Mikel Arteta will follow the lead of the likes of Liverpool, Bayern Munich and PSG and play 433, with a hard working midfield 3


  2. Ricky Dawson

    Maitland-Niles is a box-to-box midfielder that is somehow always forgotten despite his brilliant performances. Arsenal should stay on task to overhaul the defensive midfield positions this summer. Sell Torreira and Guendouzi to buy Partey, Alcantara and/or Marco Roca within this window. Go after Aouar in January or next Summer as we still have a great attacking midfielders in Ozil and Smith-Rowe. Fix the engine room because it’s the weak link that causes both Arsenal’s offense and defense to suffer disproportionately. Opponents overrun Arsenal’s midfield, which never used to happen under Wenger before the latter years. Stay focussed and concentrate on defensive midfield for now.



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