Arsenal are on the verge of signing Mohamed Elneny in a £7.3million transfer, after the Egyptian player passed a medical with the capital club.
The Gunners welcome 2016 as Premier League leaders, and favourites to win the title for the first time since 2004. Supporters are eager for Arsene Wenger to grasp this opportunity and improve his squad further in the New Year, and it looks as though he has wasted no time in bolstering a midfield depleted by injuries to Mikel Arteta, Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin and Jack Wilshere.
It has been widely reported that Arsenal have had an offer of £7.3million accepted by Basle for Elneny, who is understood to have passed a medical with the club. All that remains now is for a work permit to be granted, and although Egypt are currently ranked outside the top 50 which complicates matters somewhat, the Football Association are expected to grant this request.
Elneny has appeared in every competitive match for his country over the last two years, and this should be enough to see his application succeed. The 23-year-old is most comfortable playing in a holding midfield role, but he has also excelled in a more advanced role so will provide more options for Wenger, who welcomes Newcastle United to the Emirates Stadium on 2 January.
Wenger, meanwhile, has revealed he intends to give Wilshere as much time as possible to regain full fitness. The England international midfielder has suffered from a number of ankle injuries in the past, and hasn’t featured this season due to a broken leg. Although he has suffered a setback in his recovery and is unlikely to be back until February, the French coach remains optimistic.
“I am an optimist,” said Wenger when asked about his number 10. “I always think: ‘Okay, it’s true that he hasn’t played many games in recent years’. I hope at some stage that will stop because he is young and I hope I’m right. He is a special case because he is a special talent and he comes out of the club. And he is an England international and I hope his injuries will stop at some stage.”