Elneny has proved he is ready, says Wenger

In his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday's FA Cup clash against Watford, the boss said Mohamed Elneny has proven he's ready to start on a regular basis following his January switch from Basel.

Elneny has proved he is ready, says Wenger
Picture source: Getty Images

Elneny ready to feature, says Wenger

Ahead of Sunday's FA Cup clash against Watford, Arsenal manager Arséne Wenger said that Mohamed Elneny has proven he is ready to start for the Gunners. The Egyptian midfielder has featured in all three of Arsenal's FA Cup fixtures since his January arrival from Swiss side Basel - against Championship sides Burnley and Hull City respectively (home and away, replay).

As well as this, he played against Manchester United and started his maiden North London Derby at White Hart Lane during the 2-2 draw with Tottenham in the Premier League, and was impressive in a holding midfield role.

Elneny's form gives Gunners welcome encouragement

Wenger has said the Egyptian's recent form means the side have an opportunity to rotate their midfield pairing around accordingly, with another busy week ahead. As quoted by the club's official website, Wenger said the Elneny "looks like he is ready to play", and he "considers every formula possible to give us [the team] a balance."

Quique Sánchez Flores' men will be equally bullish about their chance of progressing into the semi-finals of this season's competition, but they'll be weary about the potential nullifying effect that Elneny has posed in recent games. Protecting the backline effectively, the energetic Egyptian makes a number of important interceptions and tackles to break up play in midfield, whilst his passing range is excellent and allows him to build-up play quickly when required to do so.

Elneny (pictured, far right) was effective in thwarting ErĂ­k Lamela's impact during last week's North London Derby, and will look to do so once more v Watford tomorrow | Image: Getty
Elneny effectively thwarted Lamela's impact during last week's North London Derby, and will look to do so once more v Watford tomorrow | Image: Getty

Wenger also spoke about how his side need to build momentum following their morale-boosting win away against the Tigers in midweek, especially considering they've got fixtures coming thick-and-fast with the season fast approaching its conclusion.

"If you have a bad result, of course there is no time to digest sometimes and to get the belief back in the squad. We want to do that and what is very important is to be in there and have a chance to show how good you are."