Tag Archives: Mohamed Elneny

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.

Formation

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.

Value

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.

Contract

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

Professionalism

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.

Keenos

Arsenal clear out set to begin

Following a very good transfer window in terms of who came in to Arsenal, the bit Arsenal clear out has still not really taken place.

Before the English transfer window shut, Arsenal moved on the likes of Krystian Bielik, Carl Jenkinson and Alex Iwobi. They also sold David Ospina and Laurent Koscielny to clubs abroad.

Whilst the English transfer window might have closed, the windows in France, German and Spain do not slam shut until 2nd September, whilst the Serie A window shuts on the 23rd August. This means there is still plenty of time for Arsenal to move a few more players on.

Unai Emery dropped a huge hint that Shkodran Mustafi is off by not even selecting him to sit on the bench in the clubs opening game against Newcastle.

The Spaniard picked Calum Chambers and Sokratis to start the match. Mustafi did not even make the bench even though Arsenal only had one other fit defender (David Luiz).

Mohamed Elneny will surely not be too far behind Mustafi out of the door.

The Egyptian midfielder barely played last season and now finds himself behind Granit Xhaka, Lucas Torreira, ,Matteo Guendouzi, Ainsley Maitland Niles and Joe Willock. Chambers would likely also get in ahead of him.

With the arrival of Kieran Tierney, Arsenal currently have 3 left backs – the Manxman joining Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac.

The feeling is if a big enough offer comes in for Kolasinac, Arsenal will consider it.

Monreal recently signed a new 1 year deal and would be unlikely to raise much in transfer funds. The experienced Spaniard was named as part of Emery’s leadership team and will surely stay about for another year.

If Arsenal do cash in on all 3 players, they can expect to recoup around £50million. This would take it to over £100m received from sold players, topping the bank account back up to go again next summer.

All is bright, all is beautiful, all is red and white.

Keenos

Calum Chambers – Should he stay or should he go?

Watching the Fulham v Tottenham game at the weekend, the stand out performer dominating the middle of the park was Calum Chambers.

The on loan Arsenal man was one of the few outstanding players in a very poor Fulham team. It had many calling for his return to the club in the summer.

Chambers turned 24 a couple of days ago and signed a new 4-year-deal back in July last year.

After a good start to his Arsenal career, he has struggled to nail down a place in the squad. Fulham is his second loan deal after a year spent in Middlesbrough during their 2016/17 relegation season.

What should Arsenal do with the not-so-young-central defender?

Keep, replace Laurent Koscielny

Club captain Laurent Koscielny rolled back the years against Chelsea, but team is clearly running out for the old dog.

Most Arsenal fans want a strong, first choice centre back to partner Sokratis in the long term. We can all agree that Calum Chambers is not that man. Neither is Shkodran Mustafi. Rob Holding has arguably moved ahead of Koscielny, Mustafi and Chambers.

In 2019/20 Koscielny will be, at best, 4th choice centre back being Sokratis, Mustafi/replacement and Rob Holding. Could Calum Chambers return and be 4th choice central defender? Certainly.

Keep, replace Mohamed Elneny

At Fulham, Calum Chambers joined as a centre back but was soon moved to central midfield. It was in the middle of the park he ran the game for Fulham against Tottenham.

He was composed on the ball, short and long passing, as well as stopping Tottenham attacks at will. He was Man of the Match.

Arsenal’s current midfield options are Lucas Torreira, Granit Xhaka, Matteo Guendouzi, Mohamed Elneny and Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Could Calum Chamber take Elneny’s place in the squad? Certainly.

Cover Hector Bellerin

Roll back to 2014 when Arsenal signed Chambers for £16million, he was a right back – having made 22 Premier League appearances for Southampton in 2013/14.

With Stephan Lichsteiner set to leave in the summer, and Hector Bellerin’s injury, we clearly need to address the right back situation next season.

Maitland-Niles is an option at right back, and will surely get his chance in the coming weeks and months. Could Calum Chambers provide cover to Hector Bellerin? Certainly.

All of the above

So he could be 4th choice centre back, 4th choice central midfielder and 2/3rd choice right back. Is this a role that he could play in one go, covering depending who is injured? Certainly.

Sell

The final option is sell.

After his string of performances, Arsenal could easily get £20million or more for a home grown, 24-year-old player.

At Premier League level who would be a regular starter for a mid-to-lower league team, or a newly promoted one.

You could see him fitting in at Derby County. He was heavily linked with a £16million move to Crystal Palace last season.

The likes of Bournemouth have spent big in January for players who are inferior to Chambers (£19milion for Dominic Solanke!). He would certainly get into their team, as well as Brighton and West Ham.

If we sold him, there would be no shortage of takers.

Arsenal have been awful at selling players in recent years. We have let over £200m worth of talent exit, getting little in return.

Imagine the scenario. We get £20million for Chambers; we also sell Mustafi. We could get in the region of £35million for a Premier League, international proven central defender. That is £55million bought in selling a central defender not currently in the squad, and one more that we can improve on.

That total could then go towards a new defender.

For £55million+ we could get a quality central defender. There are not too many defenders in the world that would be out of our reach.

You then have the new central defender, Sokratis, Holding, Koscielny and Mavropanos as the options.

Should we learn our lesson with Chambers. Cash in on a player who will never quite be good enough, and reinvest that elsewhere on someone that improves our first team without weakening the squad? Certainly.

I would keep all options on the table.

Keenos