It was a shock to see his name in the starting XI and it was arguably a decision that cost the team three points.
Mohamed Elneny’s surprise inclusion in the Arsenal starting team, only his third start in the league this season was a surprise to fans for all the wrong reasons, and it showed when the Egyptian was dragged off at half-time for Aaron Ramsey after another woeful performance.
The former Basel man is firmly in the bad books amongst Arsenal supporters, with his declining performances and ability to not really do a lot in the most important area of the pitch making him a figure the fans are fed up with.
It is likely that Elneny will be sold during the summer, with Leicester City reportedly (as per the Evening Standard in December) interested in the Egyptian international last January, and Sunday’s performance might have been enough to show Unai Emery that Arsenal needs to cut their losses with the midfielder.
Had it not been for the injury of Granit Xhaka and suspension of Lucas Torreira, there is a good chance we will not be in this situation, but football has its evil ways of thrusting forgotten figures back into the limelight. Sometimes it works, but other times it completely backfires, and Emery’s decision to bench Aaron Ramsey for Elneny was a move that cost Arsenal three of their most important points this season.
Elneny might have been a coup for the Gunners in his first five months from the club, being a reliable option who would play the full 90 minutes and largely playing it safe, but in this new era of the club the Egyptian is surplus to requirements and simply doesn’t fit in the long-term future of the club, and Emery must be thinking the midfielder will be one of the first to leave the club this upcoming summer.
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