Arsenal enjoyed a flying start to their 2020/21 campaign with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over London rivals Fulham at Craven Cottage.
One man who caught the eye and surprised the Gunners faithful somewhat was Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny.
The clamour from Arsenal supporters as they tuned in to the game was to see new signings Willian and Gabriel in action but the central midfielder proved a pleasant surprise.
You’d have got fairly long odds on the 28-year-old starting for Mikel Arteta at Fulham but he grasped his opportunity with both hands.
The question now among Arsenal fans will be whether or not the 28-year-old can maintain his place in the team on a regular basis.
On his showing at Fulham, it’s certainly not beyond the realms of possibility.
The man with 77 caps for Egypt was mightily impressive, turning in one of his best performances in an Arsenal shirt.
Elneny finished the game with a perfect 100% pass success, completing all 30 of the passes he attempted to his teammates over the 90 minutes (Who Scored).
The midfield enforcer lined-up alongside Granit Xhaka and together the pair struck up a formidable-looking partnership which Fulham had no answer to.
Elneny spent last season on loan at Besiktas and it was anticipated that he’d be deemed surplus to requirements by Arteta.
He’s clearly worked tirelessly to improve his game in pre-season, however, and based on the weekend he could become a surprise package in the Gunners ranks during 2020/21.
Elneny earns £50,000-a-week at Arsenal (Spotrac) and might see this latest reprieve as a chance to revive his Emirates Stadium career.
Performing on a consistent basis will please Arteta and if he can continue his high-performance levels against better sides than Fulham, he could play a part this season.
Reports claim Arsenal are keen on signing Thomas Partey but at this stage that isn’t a given.
It would perhaps be disappointing not to land that deal but it could see the door of opportunity swing open further for Elneny as the season progresses.