Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny picked up a “significant” injury in the win over Fulham and is expected to be sidelined for a considerable amount of time as a result.
Elneny made his first start at the weekend with Thomas Partey ruled out of the contest due to a minor muscular issue and produced a typically efficient performance at the base of midfield.
He’s proven himself to be an able deputy to the excellent Ghanaian, but Mikel Arteta will not be able to call upon his services for the foreseeable future and that could alter the club’s transfer plans as we approach deadline day.
Will Mohamed Elneny’s injury change Arsenal’s transfer plans?
Many expected Arsenal to move for another midfielder this summer but the club has been hesitant to pursue their reported targets with any vigour. Leicester’s Youri Tielemans is a player the Gunners admire, but they’re unwilling to match the Foxes lofty valuation of the Belgian.
Arsenal were happy to ride it out and potentially sign Tielemans on a free transfer next summer, but Elneny’s injury could force their hand.
According to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, Elneny picked up a “significant” injury in Saturday’s come-from-behind win over Fulham. His issue only became apparent post-match and while the full extent of the injury is unknown, the Egyptian is expected to miss a “substantial period”.
Ornstein writes that while Elneny’s injury could change Arsenal’s transfer plans, they will not panic and attempt to find a short-term fix. Mikel Arteta will still want to recruit a midfielder that aligns with his ideals.
Thus, Tielemans makes so much sense for the Gunners – even if they have to pay a little more than they wanted to for the Belgian. The Leicester man will excel as an #8 in Arteta’s system, but he’s also capable of sitting at the base of midfield in a metronomic role.
Against Aston Villa on Wednesday, though, Arteta will likely call upon young Albert Sambi Lokonga if Oleksandr Zinchenko isn’t fit to start. Lokonga impressed as an #8 in pre-season and his inclusion should force Granit Xhaka into a deeper role.