Arsenal’s new signing Mohamed Elneny enjoyed his first training session just after the club confirmed the Egyptian’s sign yesterday.
The former FC Basel midfielder quickly got to grips with his new surroundings and worked well alongside new teammates ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Stoke on Sunday.
23-year-old Elneny has made the move for a fee said to be around £5million, and will pocket £60,000 per week in wages despite earlier reports claiming the deal will be worth £7.4million.
Speaking to the club’s website about his highly anticipated move, the Egyptian player said: “It is an indescribable feeling, I am really glad of course. Arsenal is one of the world’s greatest teams, and I am very keen to participate positively with my new team, God willing, and to give my best for the team and for myself.”
Wenger has signed Elneny in order to bring in more competition and cover for holding midfielder Francis Coquelin, but the former Basel star can also operate further ahead. The Egyptian’s game is more like winning the ball back and then pressing it forward in a box-to-box kind of role just like Aaron Ramsey in the current Arsenal setup.
The midfielder has established himself at Swiss club Basel quite impressively during his three seasons at the club, helping them to win three Swiss Super League titles along the way. He also Guided Basel to reach the Europa League semi-finals in the 2012-13 season before the Swiss club knocked out by Premier League giants Chelsea.
The only thing Arsenal was concerned before the completion of the deal was how to get the midfielder a work permit because Egypt’s current ranking which is 57 in FIFA world rankings is not high enough to guarantee a work permit for Elneny. It was earlier rumoured that Arsenal’s application for a work permit for Elneny failed initially but later Guardian reported Wenger has been successful to get a special talent visa for him from the British home office.
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This deal happens to be the only first team signing Arsene Wenger will do in January window, with the Frenchman wants to wait until the summer to land his other major targets.