Martin Keown said during last night’s BT Sport coverage of Arsenal’s game with Dundalk that Mohamed Elneny sent a message to his boss.
The Egyptian midfielder scored an unbelievable goal in the 4-2 win and Keown believes it was a statement of intent.
Mikel Arteta oversaw a sixth straight win in the Europa League as his team romped into the last 32 with an unblemished record.
It’s a stark contrast to the club’s league form with the Gunners winning one of their six domestic games.
Keown knows all about winning trophies with Arsenal and he was full of praise for Elneny last night.
He told BT Sport (10/12; 20:45) “I think that is a message, that goal – ‘I am available for the first team. There are places up for grabs, and maybe that is going to get me one of them'”.
Arsenal will be seeded for the round of 32 draw and Arteta will hope to go deep in the competition.
TBR View – Elneny proving his critics wrong
Despite a season of struggle in the Premier League, Elneny has emerged as a surprise package in Arteta’s team.
He has played 13 matches in all competitions and with Thomas Partey injured again, he could get his place back in the league.
Eyebrows were raised in the summer when the £50,000-a-week maestro was handed a reprieve by Arteta.
Elneny spent last season with Besiktas, scoring three goals and registering three assists during 36 appearances.
Financial concerns meant they couldn’t make the move permanent and that has seen Arteta run the rule over him.
His form has been relatively consistent and it’d be no surprise to see him start against Burnley on Sunday.