Ahead of the new season, one of the biggest concerns regarding the Arsenal squad came from midfield, something Unai Emery was quick to pick up on.
The Spaniard brought in both Matteo Guendouzi from Lorient and Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria to improve his side in that department, and the pair have since made promising starts to life in England.
Guendouzi, in particular, has been quick to stamp his authority in the middle of the park where he has been making tackles, interceptions and defence-splitting passes.
Ultimately, the arrivals of Guendouzi and Torreira look to have bolstered Arsenal significantly in an area of the squad that was looking extremely week, though it could now have ramifications on other members of the squad including Mohamed Elneny.
Elneny arrived at the Emirates back in 2016 from Basel but was mostly used as a cover option by previous manager Arsene Wenger, and that is unlikely to change under Emery.
After six Premier League games, the 26-year-old has yet to gain a single minute under his belt with competition for a midfield spot even more fierce following Guendouzi and Torreira joining the club.
On top of the two, Emery also has Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey — for the time being — to call upon.
£9m-rated (via Transfermarkt) Elneny has not been a terrible signing nor is he a bad player. Whenever he has been brought into the team, more often than not, he has performed.
His midfield display last season in Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Chelsea at the Emirates in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup, for example, was a complete one. He broke down attacks, got the Gunners on the front foot with his distribution and, in general, put in a performance of the highest quality.
Nevertheless, Elneny’s minutes this season look set to be limited. Other than the odd Europa League and League Cup game, first-team starts will be hard to come by.
Since his arrival in north London, he has been on the periphery of the squad, a theme that will continue regardless of the managerial change in the dugout.
Therefore, when the transfer window reopens in January, the former Basel man should be pursuing a move away from the Emirates.
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