Transfer issues with Arsenal FC of London are always controversial. Fans and even non fans are not new to them. For more than a decade, the club’s hallowed manager, Monsieur Arsene Wenger, has either pulled the plug or pulled out the trick. Have they worked? That must be left to personal judgments.
At least, he has remained the boss, even when mavericks like Jose Mourinho and the likes have come and gone, usually acrimoniously.
Thierry Henry, Wiltord, Dennis Bergkamp, Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Ebboue, Gervinho and plenty have come and made their marks. Arsene Wenger, The Professor, has been that manager that has given most surprises with signings. He has the penchant and reputation for always missing out on the best players; Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba, Ibrahimovic, Yaya Toure, Eden Hazard, Gareth Bale, Juan Mata, even Rooney and the list is almost endless.
On the contrary, he has been hugely successful with those that caught his fancy. Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Cesc Fabregas were no less splendid examples, anyway.
January transfer is usually a headache for Monsieur Arsene Wenger. But he had pulled a couple of famous deals, too. Andrey Ashavin was last minute transfer miracle some seasons back. Few others came.
Now it is the Egyptian: Mohammed Elneny! A January window transfer deal borne out extreme necessity. Francis Coquelin is out injured for a long period, so a cover must be sought. How does he fit in? Well he has got a good statistics.
Basel FC released for £5million with the player undertaking a medical in Paris. This season, he already had 28 appearances for his former club garnering 6 goals and 2 assists
Elneny is a holding midfielder and will therefore help to plug the gap left by the injured Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin. The 23-year-old, however, has more to offer than Coquelin going forward and is more than just a short-term replacement for the Frenchman.
Elneny began his career with Al Ahly in Egypt when he was an academy player – first playing for their youth sides when he was just five years old. He never played a first team fixture for the club and after 11 years he moved to El Mokawloon, where he did break through into the senior squad and became a first team regular.
He signed for current club Basel in January 2013, initially on loan, before penning a permanent deal in May of that year.
The good news for Arsenal fans hoping to finally win the Premier League again this season is that Elneny is already a league title winner. He helped Basel to the Swiss Super League for the last three seasons in a row.
On the international stage, Elneny made his debut for Egypt in September 2011 against Sierra Leone. He has gone on to make 40 appearances for his country, scoring three goals. He also competed at the 2012 Olympics in London playing for the Egyptian U-23 team.