Arsenal's new signing Mohamed Elneny could provide title boost

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Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Egypt international Mohamed Elneny from Basel

Though the club are yet to formally announce a fee for the 23-year-old midfielder, the Daily Mail has reported that it will cost Arsenal £5 million.

Having opted not to buy an outfield player during the entire summer window, Arsene Wenger has been keen to complete this deal quickly, with four Arsenal midfielders currently sidelined with injury. 


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Elneny is a right-footed player who began his senior club career with Egyptian side El Mokawloon SC, becoming a regular in the 2010/11 season. 

A move to Swiss side FC Basel subsequently materialised in January 2013 with the club winning the Swiss Super League three times in Elneny's three years at the club.

The midfielder also helped Basel reach the 2012-13 Europa League semi-finals where they were knocked out by eventual winners Chelsea under the management of interim boss Rafa Benitez.

Last season brought further success for both club and player as they qualified for the knock-out rounds of the Champions League ahead of Liverpool, after securing a 1-1 draw at Anfield in the final group game. 

At international level, despite only being 23 Elneny has already accumulated 39 caps for Egypt having made his debut back in 2011.

What will he bring?

As a physically strong and industrious player, Elneny will provide real prescence to Arsenal's midfield. 

Like Francis Coquelin, Elneny specialises in regaining possession for his side however; the Egyptian can also be a real threat going forward as well. 

Typically for an Arsenal signing, Elneny is comfortable in possession and has a real eye for goal: he has scored six goals for Basle this season in 28 games in all competitions. 

Arsenal need reinforcements

At 23, Elneny is undoubtedly an investment, with an eye on the future. 

Mikel Arteta and Matthieu Flamini are both over 30 and out of contract in the summer, whilst Wenger will be increasingly concerned by Jack Wilshere's injury record. 

Midfield enforcer Coquelin sustained a serious knee injury during a defeat to West Bromwich Albion back in November and is expected to be out for at least another six weeks.  

Following his reintroduction into the team in Arsenal's 2-0 victory over Manchester City at the Etihad last season, Coquelin has quickly become a vital player for the Gunners and his injury was seen as a huge blow to the club's title bid.

Where will he fit?

The easy conclusion would be to suggest he will immediately be trusted as the deep-lying player in Arsenal's midfield two.

However, Elneny has a real desire to get on the ball and get forward as more of a box-to-box player. This will obviously please Wenger but may be a concern, considering the balance of his team.

With their wide array of attacking talents, including the currently injured Alexis Sanchez and Santi Cazorla, Arsenal have a tendency to be caught on the counterattack - think Monaco's third goal last season in the Champions League round of 16.

Coquelin was off the pitch at the time and is crucial in maintaining Arsenal's balance due to both his tactical discipline and his willingness to win the ball and quickly pass it onto one of Arsenal's more creative talents.

Flamini has done a decent job of it in recent weeks, allowing Aaron Ramsey to bomb forward and Wenger may not trust his newest signing with such an important role straight away.

Elneny may well grow into the sitting role but it won't be an instant transition and Coquelin's return remains crucial, as Wenger aims to win his first Premier League title since 2004.

Either way, Arsenal look to have signed a talented player with significant potential to develop under Wenger's experienced eye.

What do the fans think?

Do you think Elneny will prove to be a good signing for Arsenal? Have your say in the comment box below!

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Thierry Henry
Arsene Wenger
Francis Coquelin
Premier League

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