Iwobi and new signing Elneny both impressed against Burnley with many crediting Iwobi with the Man of the Match performance. His composure, control and understanding of the game are way beyond his years. We should be careful not to burden him with too much expectation, but we can be excited about what is undoubtedly another midfield talent Arsene has produced.
The player I want to focus on today is Elneny. There has been much discussion of his intended role in the midfield, and the role he played in Saturday’s game.
It was assumed he was back-up/competition for Coquelin, but lo and behold, Arsene played them both. Surely Arsene would never put out a team with two holding midfielders … and he didn’t.
No, Elneny didn’t play HM, he covered every blade of grass and was the epitome of a box-to-box midfielder. If you look at M.E.s performances for Basel and read what Arsene has said of the player, it is clear that he has a lot more to his game than just breaking play up and keeping it simple.
So if Elneny wasn’t brought in as another ‘Coquelin’ then where does he fit into our midfield. Sadly Cazorla’s latest injury together with his advancing years means that he may never be a first choice midfielder for Arsenal again. Who knows whether Wilshere will ever be able to remain injury free long enough to establish himself as first choice in our midfield?
This got me thinking. Every well managed team has a production line of players coming through and strives for a quality back-up for every position.
Arsene likes Ramsey – a lot! I’m pretty sure that along with Ozil, Sanchez and Koscielny, Ramsey is always one of the first names on the team sheet. The best players need to be protected and rested on occasion, and are the ones that the big spending clubs try to pluck from our midst. There are rumours that Barcelona have shown an interest in Ramsey. From what I can see, Ramsey and Elneny have a lot in common. A superb engine, a good range of passing and an eye for goal.
So there you have it – my conclusion is that Elneny was brought in to bolster our midfield options in the short term, and to offer an alternative to Ramsey in the long term. What do you think?