Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has explained why he thinks Mohamed Elneny will suit the way the club play.
Elneny joined the north London side earlier this month for a fee believed to be in the region of £5m, with him currently the club’s only signing thus far in 2016.
The 23-year-old midfielder has yet to make his Premier League debut, and will be forced to wait an extra week, with the FA Cup game against Burnley on Saturday likely to be his first appearance of the season.
Having joined from FC Basel, the Egyptian will be unaware of the intensity of England’s top division, and Wenger, as reported by the club’s official website, admitted that Elneny was ‘surprised’ by the physical nature.
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He’s not a monster.
Typically Middle Eastern people are very [wiry] with a big stamina and very agile.
Sometimes they lack a bit of power, so he’s not a powerhouse, he’s more of a mobility player. That’s why I think he can suit our game.
Winning the ball is not only down to power, it’s about switching on at the right moment. It’s a technique.
You have players who are muscular and they lose fights against small players who are very slim because the smaller players are able to switch on at the right moment.
It’s a real technique to know when to switch on. I remember small defensive midfielders who were unbelievable defensively. They had that kind of technique.
He’s 23 years old, he played for three years in Basel, won three championships in Switzerland, played against English teams like Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool. The next step is a big one for him because to come out of Switzerland and get to the Premier League is not easy but it’s the right age for him.
Arsenal face Burnley in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday afternoon as they look to defend the trophy for the third season in a row.