Mohamed Elneny is rapidly approaching the one-year anniversary of his move to Arsenal.
The 24-year-old arrived at the Emirates from Basel back in January for a bargain fee thought to be in the region of £5 million.
He has already gone on to make 29 appearances across all competitions - the most recent of those being in the 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Saturday.
However, Elneny's career could have taken an entirely different path after he revealed how he wasn't exactly Arsenal's prime target when the Gunners first watched him play.
For the last few years, Elneny's former team Basel have been quietly developing some top players and as a result, scouts from across Europe have regularly flocked to Switzerland to track the progress of their many stars.
And Elneny has claimed that when Arsenal's officials initially watched the Swiss side play, they were actually interested in his teammate at the time, Fabian Schar.
“I was very happy when I joined Arsenal but I asked one of my friends how the negotiations started and if they had scouted me before," Elneny told DMC Sports, as per The Mirror.
“He told me that Arsenal officials were scouting Fabian Schär in the first place, and that’s when they noticed me.
“All of us at Basel knew that Schär was linked with Arsenal and at every season’s end, we congratulated him as the move was close to completion, according to Schär himself. But afterwards, things changed quickly.
“My agent told me that Arsenal officials came many times to watch Schär but they were impressed every time by my performances and development and they went on to sign me instead.”
Not exactly the most conventional scouting methods but it has worked a treat.
Along with the summer arrival of another former Basel midfielder, Granit Xhaka, Arsene Wenger now has extra steel to rely on in the middle this season.
Despite only picking up a point at Old Trafford, the Gunners are still in touching distance with the Premier League's other early season title challengers.
Chelsea currently lead with 28 points after beating Middlesbrough 1-0 on Sunday, with Liverpool and Manchester City just one point further back.
Meanwhile, Wenger's team have finished the weekend in fourth but remain just three points behind the Blues.
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