Arsenal are expected to announce the signing of Mohamed Elneny on Monday, after manager Arsene Wenger hinted the Basel midfielder would complete his transfer to the Emirates Stadium.
George Bellshaw of Metro said the 23-year-old has completed his medical ahead of the anticipated transfer and quoted Wenger, who confirmed he is set to reveal a new member of his squad.
“We hope to announce a player in the next 24 to 48 hours,” Wenger said after the FA Cup victory over Sunderland on Saturday. “I don’t need to tell you the name. After that we will see [about other deals].”
The player will reportedly cost the Gunners £7.4 million when he puts pen to paper, per Bellshaw, and will fill a void in the Arsenal squad that needed addressing.
Wenger has suffered a number of midfield injuries this term, and Elneny will provide essential cover as well as long-term competition in the centre of the park.
Jack Wilson of the Daily Star reported Arsenal’s attempts to win a work permit for Elneny on appeal have been holding the fruition of the deal up, but Wenger’s recent comments suggest this is no longer an issue.
Elneny has a credible work rate attached to his game and offers a different skill set to the club’s traditional flair players.
However, Elneny is not the defensive anchor many fans had hoped to see arrive, one who is able to protect the back four at all times. He is capable of playing in a defensive role, but he might find the step up to the Premier League as a shock to the system, forced to deal with the hectic pace of the natural English game.
Journalist and Arsenal fan Piers Morgan was far from impressed when the player was linked with Arsenal during the Christmas period:
Elneny might not have the craft of Santi Cazorla or Mesut Ozil, but the young player is certainly a creative individual who will look to carry the ball forward.
The Egyptian is unlikely to be the key that opens the door to the Premier League title for the Gunners in 2014-15, but he will add a fresh dynamic to Arsenal at a vital time in the season—and at a reasonable cost.