Wenger: Elneny to sign, but Campbell already a bonus

Date published: Monday 11th January 2016 9:22

Joel Campbell: An unexpected success for Arsenal

Arsene Wenger says Arsenal have already unexpectedly been improved by Joel Campbell as he prepares to add Mohamed Elneny to his squad.

Confirmation of Elneny’s move to Arsenal has been held up by work permit problems, but speaking after the 3-1 FA Cup win over Sunderland on Saturday, Wenger suggested that the deal would be confirmed by Monday.

“We hope to announce a player in the next 24 to 48 hours,” Wenger said.

“I don’t need to tell you the name. After that we will see [about other deals].”

Wenger is confident his squad is strong enough to compete on three fronts as Tomas Rosicky back, Danny Welbeck, Alexis Sanchez and Jack Wilshere close on returns from injury – and the Frenchman admits he has received an unexpected boost in the shape of Campbell.

The Costa Rican forward had not started a Premier League match before injuries thrust him into Wenger’s plans at the end of October, but having been given his opportunity he has impressed, scoring against Sunderland and playing a part in Aaron Ramsey’s goal.

“He is kind of in Coquelin’s position last year,” Wenger told Arsenal Player. “Nobody expected him [to do well] and now he is taking his place in the team and he is ready to fight for the position and he is efficient.

“I agree [that he is playing with confidence]. That comes out of his game. Compare one month ago to today, he believes he belongs there and has a right to play.”

Wenger was particularly pleased that a team featuring Campbell, Calum Chambers, Alex Iwobi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain against Sunderland showed the mental strength to come from behind to win.

“The fact that we went 1-0 down and didn’t panic with a young midfield [pleased me],” Wenger added. “We responded and became stronger and stronger in the game.

“As a manager, you come out of the game feeling like this is a real team and they fight together and for one another and they want to do it. That is what I liked very much.”

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