Arsenal are expected to announce the signing of Mohamed Elneny in the next 48 hours – but have been told they need three new players.
Basel have confirmed that Elneny could complete a transfer “in the coming days”, with Arsenal agreeing to pay £7.3million for the 23-year-old midfielder.
Elneny has already undergone a medical and is set to sign on a four-and-a-half-year deal, with international clearance for the Egyptian the only thing holding up an official announcement.
Elneny will become the first outfield player signed by Arsene Wenger since last January, but former Gunners defender Frank McLintock believes further reinforcements are required if the club are to challenge for the top honours.
“I’d like to see an improvement in January, especially at centre-half,” McLintock told talkSPORT. “I think Per Mertesacker has been a bit fortunate. He’s been a great pro and a great player for Germany, but I can’t see him getting in the Bayern Munich, Barcelona or Real Madrid teams. That’s a position that needs to be filled.
“If [Francis] Coquelin is injured there isn’t a ready-made player with any height or strength who could play in that holding midfield position, and they definitely need another top class centre-forward too in case [Olivier] Giroud — who has been effective this season — gets injured. There are still positions they can improve on.
“When I look at the Bayern Munich, Barcelona or Real Madrid, Arsenal are quite a bit behind them. Arsenal are a massive club, they get 60,000 fans every week, they’ve got a beautiful stadium and the debt has been wiped off — I think they’ve got to really go for it now,” the former Gunners skipper explained.
“I would like to see Arsenal taking that extra step, trying to go for the top, going for European cups and domestic championships as well.
“And if you want to be up there with the biggest clubs in the world, you’ve got to be prepared to buy players like [Alexis] Sanchez and [Mesut] Ozil, even for the big money. If you asking fans to pay the kind of money they pay to watch Arsenal, I think the club should make sure they provide the best players in the world, if possible.”