Arsenal: If ever there was a time for the Mohamed Elneny project, this is it

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 25: Gareth Barry of West Bromwich Albion is faced by Mohamed Elneny of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion at Emirates Stadium on September 25, 2017 in London, England. Gareth Barry is making a record 633rd Premier League appearance. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 25: Gareth Barry of West Bromwich Albion is faced by Mohamed Elneny of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion at Emirates Stadium on September 25, 2017 in London, England. Gareth Barry is making a record 633rd Premier League appearance. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images) /
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Arsenal’s defense needs able-bodied men. Which means that Mohamed Elneny, the debonair of the Emirates, may be called upon for his scorned project.

Arsenal’s defense is going to be stretched. Seeing as how Arsene Wenger decided to sell Gabriel Paulista and the not replace him, the Gunners will be stretched a bit thin with the absence of Shkodran Mustafi.

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So thin, in fact, that someone is going to have to be used on short rest, which is never a good thing, given the less than perfect health of both Laurent Koscielny and Calum Chambers. Which is rough, since we have five matches in fourteen days.

At first, I thought maybe it was time to give Krystian Bielik the call up, but seeing as how his health is in a state of limbo too, it might be time to dig into the old vault and pull out the discarded Mohamed Elneny project.

Remember in the preseason when Elneny was being used at centerback and we were left scratching our heads? This is what that was for. Here we are, in an emergency situation with our second best defender out for a prolonged period, and we have no other recourse.

There are two options – stretch a thin, unhealthy defense even thinner or repurpose someone, which is a side hobby of Arsene Wenger.

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Knowing Wenger, he can come out of this saying “well, this is why I played Elneny at centerback in the first place” and act like this is all part of the plan, but until we see this scorned project in action, we won’t know how good of a plan it really is.

Especially because, all things considered, he would normally be deployed in central midfielder against Red Star Belgrade, which is where I’m assuming he would slot into center back. Which means that someone else would have to be deployed in the midfield to cover the absence. Which isn’t the worst thing in the world. It just might be a little thin with Jack Wilshere and Joe Willock playing in deeper roles.

It’s not the worst idea in the world. Elneny is a quality player who, in a pinch, I have a good deal of faith in to do, at the very least, a solid, dependable job.

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Which, given the beat-up nature of this defense, may well be all that we can ask for. That is, unless we prefer walking the injury tightrope over relying on Elneny to play out of position effectively.