Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny has been tipped by Jack Wilshere to be one of the main drivers behind the Gunners’ success this reason.
The 28-year-old has made 100 appearances for the North Londoners since joining from Swiss outfit FC Basel in 2016 for a reported £7million.
Last season, on Unai Emery’s watch, Elneny left Arsenal for a season-long loan at Besiktas, becoming a mainstay of their squad and making 36 appearances in all competitions
Of those, 27 came in the Superlig, the Egypt international scoring one goal and registering four assists as the Black Eagles finished third in the table to seal Champions League qualification.
Despite his success in Turkey, few fans thought Elneny could win his place back in the Arsenal squad, given he’d been a fringe player during much of his time on the club’s books.
“I spent a year with Mohamed Elneny at Arsenal, and he is someone who I like to play alongside, someone who has a distinct personality,” Wilshere told Al-Arabiya, via KingFut.
“It’s difficult for any player to go out on loan for a season but he imposed himself as a key player when he returned to Arsenal.
“And I think he will be one of the reasons for Arsenal’s success this season.”
Arteta has made no secret of the fact he wants players who respect the club’s values and show they are “100 per cent committed to our culture”.
Indeed, he hasn’t hesitated to make controversial decisions – freezing out Mesut Ozil and sending Matteo Guendouzi out on loan, for example.
Bringing Elneny back into the fold was also a bold call from Arteta, but one which has reaped dividends and, given he’s done so with a player on Arsenal’s books, it’s cost him nothing.
It’s also worth remembering that Arsenal legend Gilberto Silva told France Football in April that he thought Elneny was the closest thing the Gunners currently have to him or Patrick Vieira.