Having produced one of his most impressive displays in Arsenal’s 2-2 Europa League draw at CSKA Moscow on Thursday, Mohamed Elneny earned a fan award and effusive praise from coach Arsene Wenger.
The Egypt central midfielder created two goals with superb defence-splitting passes as Arsenal advanced to the Europa League semis following a 6-3 aggregate victory over Russia’s CSKA Moscow.
He set up Danny Welbeck for a precious goal against CSKA in the 75th minute with a deft through pass to kill off the hosts’ hopes of overcoming a 4-1 first-leg deficit.
And in stoppage time, another Elneny pass released Aaron Ramsey to slot home with aplomb after a quick breakaway.
He was voted on Friday as the Europa League’s Player of the Week.
“He a super-popular player and everybody inside the club loves him,” Arsene Wenger said on Arsenal’s official website.
“But he’s not only loved, he is also a very good player and he showed that in Moscow. I never wanted him to leave, I always wanted him to stay. I must say that we had demands for him but he always wanted to stay too.
“In the second half in Moscow he played in defence and then afterwards, when he moved back into the middle of the park, he gave assists. He works hard and is generous. Overall, I think he did very well."
Elneny, who is a key member of Egypt’s squad as the Pharaohs gear up for their first World Cup appearance in 28 years, penned a new long-term contract with Arsenal last month.
The 25-year-old, who joined the Gunners from Swiss side Basel in January 2016, has made 30 appearances with the team in all competitions so far this season, scoring once and creating four goals.