Mohamed Elneny signs for Arsenal, but there is already a problem

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Arsenal have announced the arrival of Mohamed Elneny after a couple of weeks of speculation. It came as no surprise to see it announced today after Arsene Wenger basically confirmed it after their 3-3 draw with Liverpool on Wednesday.

The FC Basel midfielder, who had little to no reputation in English football prior to Arsenal's interest, arrives for a reported fee of £5million and will provide immediate cover for the injured Francis Coquelin before eventually replacing Mikel Arteta and/or Mathieu Flamini.

But, as always seems to be the case with Arsenal, it looks like there is already a rather big problem on the horizon. According to the Mirror's John Cross, the Gunners could lose their signing for an entire year at any point in the next seven.


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The reason? As an Egyptian national, Elneny, 23, is required to complete national service in his homeland. That fact is believed to be one of the reason's why contract negotiations have dragged on for as long as they have.

The minimum 12-month national service is required by law to be completed before he turns 30-years-old, but he could yet escape it by being excused by the Egyptian government. Mohamed Salah, also once of FC Basel, was granted a special sporting permit, which exempts him. Elneny is hoping to do the same.


But, for now, Arsenal will be focused on getting the midfielder registered in time to face Stoke City on Sunday. Papers will have to be submitted to the Premier League by noon on Friday, but there are unlikely to be any problems with that.

Elneny has been given the No.35 shirt.

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