Arsene Wenger tells Arsenal fans about 25-year-old can thrive in new role
The Arsenal manager is confident Mohamed Elneny can become a good ball-playing centre-half
Arsene Wenger believes Mohamed Elneny can play as a ball-playing centre-half in the Arsenal team.
The Gunners boss used the Egypt international in an unorthodox role in the Arsenal defence at the end of the 2016-17 season.
Elneny has been linked with a potential move to Turkey in recent weeks amid talk of Galatasaray looking to prise the 25-year-old away from Arsenal.
Wenger has made two Arsenal signings in the summer transfer window so far following the addition of Bosnian left-back Sead Kolasinac and Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette.
However, the Gunners boss hasn’t added a centre-half to his squad despite concerns about the Arsenal defence following their fifth-placed finish last term.
Speaking ahead of the Emirates Cup tournament this weekend, Wenger stated his belief that Elneny can be used in a centre-half role in the 2017-18 Premier League campaign.
“Yes he does [fit the bill as a centre-half],” Wenger said in quotes distributed to the media by Arsenal.
“Elneny is a player who has a fantastic mentality and attitude, and his main target is to help the team. When he plays there, of course he does extremely well.”
Wenger added: “I always felt that a good central midfielder can be a good centre back.
“With the fact of course that when you’re playing in the back four you have to be decisive in the challenges, you have a bit more flexibility in the middle of a back three. He can do that.”
Arsenal finished in fifth place last season to miss out on a spot in the Champions League.
The Gunners were 2-1 winners against English champions Chelsea in the FA Cup final at Wembley.