A number of Arsenal fans have taken to Twitter to give their thoughts on Gilberto Silva comparing Gunners loanee Mohamed Elneny to himself and Patrick Vieira, in conversation with France Football.
The Egypt international has made just 46 appearances for Arsenal since joining from Swiss side FC Basel in 2016 for a reported £7million (The Independent).
Elneny has largely played a bit-part role under former managers Arsene Wenger and Unai Emery before being shipped out on loan to Besiktas at the start of the 2019-20 season.
Since Silva’s departure, the Gunners haven’t really had a tough, steely midfielder in the same mould.
However, the Brazilian – who played alongside Vieira at Arsenal before ultimately replacing him in the engine room – thinks the 27-year-old could have been the closest candidate.
“In the last few years, the situation has been difficult at Arsenal,” Silva told France Football.
“They have very similar players in midfield, with profiles that resemble each other and not really players of the profile of Patrick Vieira, or even my profile. The only individual who resembled [us], that could have been Mohamed Elneny, but he didn’t play.
“But they have not really had those types of players to cover the defensive midfield position. Arsenal always plays positively, trying to deploy an attacking game, and it is not easy to find someone to marry the ability to play the forward game and to do the work in the shadows in the defensive phases.”
Given Silva was a superb player for Arsenal and played alongside the great Vieira for the Gunners, he is fairly well qualified to know what makes a great midfielder.
However, a number of fans really didn’t agree with Silva’s comments and made their feelings known on social media:
— Helmet Gooner 🕉️ (@Goonmett) April 13, 2020
— Craig 🏴 (@KentGooner77) April 13, 2020
Elneny couldnt win a single ball
— Muzzammil Mymini (@Baaantva) April 13, 2020
Elneny, the legendary Shadow Chaser.
— Homer Soibam (@Arsenal_Homer) April 13, 2020
Resembled he means in style of play
— Nicø (@Anonymous1076) April 13, 2020
Wait, what! 😂😂😂😂😂
— ™️ (@AfcNas) April 13, 2020
thnaks @GilbertoSilva for putting smile on our face 😂🙌
— Andy GOATREAL (@17afctweet) April 13, 2020
Let us all be honest with each other Elneny can’t cover Vieira work not to strong or version minded.. Partey seems to be more version of him and Ndidi..
— Tonis (@Tonis03009213) April 13, 2020