Arsene Wenger says Mohamed Elneny gave structure to Arsenal’s midfield in the North London derby delivering a performance that was ‘convincing’ for a first start in the Premier League.
The Egyptian international played in the centre of the park alongside Francis Coquelin helping to stem the flow of the home side’s attacks even when his midfield partner was sent off early in the second half.
Reflecting on Elneny’s full league debut, the boss also played up the January signing’s integration into the squad.
“It was a very positive performance because he structured our team very well,” Wenger told Arsenal Player.
“He looks to be an intelligent player who moves the ball very quickly, finds his partners and plays forward.
“It was a very convincing performance for a first time [in the Premier League].
“I believe mentally he has integrated very well into the team, he is very keen and very humble. He has a great desire to learn, so everybody in the squad likes him and he is a positive surprise on that front as well.”
Elneny looks set to start this evening’s game against Hull City although the boss has said he will make changes to the side that played at the weekend.
“I have to rotate a little bit because some players have played many games and I have fresh players available as well,” he said.
“All the players in my squad have nearly the same quality and it is not very difficult [to rotate]. The difficulty for me is to find the right balance in the team to be efficient.”