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Elneny has mobility to adapt to League – Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes new signing Mohamed Elneny’s mobility will enable him to quickly adapt to English football.

The 23-year-old Egyptian midfielder joined the North London club from Swiss outfit Basel for an initial fee of £5million on January 13 and was an unused substitute for the league clash with Stoke last weekend.

The defensive midfielder could make his first appearance for Arsenal against Burnley in the FA Cup on Saturday and whilst Wenger admits Elneny is not physically dominating, the French boss believes it is not a necessity of the modern game.

“He’s not a monster,” Wenger told the club’s official website. “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.”

Wenger feels Elneny has proved himself during his spell in Switzerland and deserves to join an elite European division after his experiences against English competition.

“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.”

Sat 30 Jan, 2016
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