Monday Dec 07, 2020. 14:00
Egypt international Mohamed Elneny is key to Arsenal’s midfield according to club’s legend Gilberto Silva.
Retired Brazilian midfield maestro Silva is widely considered to be one of Arsenal’s best defensive midfielders in the Premier League era.
Elneny was an unused substitute during the Gunners’ 2-0 defeat to their North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in a league clash on Sunday.
A key member of Arsenal’s Invincibles team, Silva explained that current side needs a stable presence in the midfield and Elneny is the right man for that role.
“Before they signed Thomas Partey, I’d spoken many times about Arsenal’s need to bring in another central midfielder, and they’re unlucky their new signing has been out with an injury recently,” Silva told Ladbrokes.
“But Granit Xhaka has been the regular player in that position in the last couple of years. But Partey played alongside Mohamed Elneny in Arsenal’s game against Manchester United a few weeks ago and I thought they worked really well as a partnership.
“Despite the fact that they’re not the kind of players who get that much credit for the jobs they do – Elneny especially. But I think he can be a key player for Arsenal this year. He’s not an inconsistent player.”
Elneny is competing with the likes of Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey and Dani Ceballos in the Arsenal midfield under manager Mikel Arteta.
“He always performs well and in that role you need someone who is going to consistently do a job for the team. It’s an area of the pitch where you need stability, and I think that Elneny could be the player who fits that role alongside Xhaka or Partey,” he added.
“Every good team is very strong at the back, that back three or back four, and then equally as strong in the middle of the pitch. After that, you worry about the forward players.
“Arsenal have the forward players who are capable of performing well and scoring goals, but they need to strengthen the middle part of the field.”
Elneny, 28, has played 101 competitive matches for Arsenal and netted twice in the process.