‘Intelligent’ Elneny must adapt quickly, warns Wenger

Date published: Sunday 31st January 2016 1:52

Mohamed Elneny: Caught the eye on full Arsenal debut

Mohamed Elneny: Caught the eye on full Arsenal debut

Arsene Wenger hopes new signing Mohamed Elneny will adapt quickly to the physical challenges presented by English football.

Elneny, who arrived from Basel in a £5million deal earlier this month, made his Arsenal debut in their 2-1 FA Cup fourth-round victory over Burnley on Saturday.

The Egyptian international completed the full 90 minutes for the Gunners, and while Wenger was pleased with his overall contribution, the Frenchman feels his new signing has to improve on the physical side of his game.

“I felt he started a bit cautious and played a bit secure,” said Wenger of the 23-year-old midfielder.

“But he became more adventurous, had some good shots on goal, and his mobility and his workrate was exceptional.

“He needs to adjust to the power of the game in the Premier League, but this was a good welcome today and certainly he has learned a lot.

“It will take him some time to adjust to the power side of our game here but his intelligence, mobility and the technical level are good.”

Elneny was one of nine changes Wenger made to the starting XI that suffered a 1-0 defeat against Chelsea last Sunday.

Alexis Sanchez, who scored the decisive goal in the second half, made his first start since November 29, while Francis Coquelin also returned after a lengthy injury lay-off.

Tomas Rosicky came off the bench to make his first appearance of the season, but it was reported on Sunday that the injury-prone midfielder faces a month on the sidelines after suffering a thigh injury on his comeback.

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