'Fantastic' Elneny is a big advert for Egypt, says Arsenal coach

Ahram Online , Wednesday 1 Feb 2017,
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Arsene Wenger and Mohamed Elneny (Reuters)
Arsene Wenger and Mohamed Elneny (Reuters)

Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger has heaped praise on Egypt midfielder Mohamed Elneny, who is currently serving national duty on the country’s squad at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

"I am very delighted with Elneny because first of all, he is a guy who contributes a lot to the collective quality of the team. He defends well, attacks well," the 67-year-old tactician told his club in a video interview Wednesday.

The 23-year-old Elneny made stunning progress moving to the English Premier League giants in January 2016. Before that, the player proved his worth with Swiss side Basel, whom he joined from Egypt's Arab Contractors in 2013.

"He is a continuity player. He put the oil in the engine. On a daily basis, he is a pleasure to work with. He is a big advert for Egypt because he is humble, he is willing to do well, he has a helpful attitude, he is a fantastic boy and he is a great asset for Arsenal."

The midfielder made a convincing start with Arsenal last season and scored a memorable goal against Spanish giants Barcelona in a UEFA Champions League last-16 clash.

Elneny's ascent is frequently cited as an example for younger generations in Egyptian media. An advertising campaign once described him as a hero who had motivated all Egyptians.

"It's great [that Elneny has so many fans from Egypt] because Egypt is a big country and it's good to have some passionate fans. This guy is really top quality."

The player will be sidelined due to injury when Egypt meet Burkina Faso in the AFCON semifinals Wednesday. The Pharaohs are bidding this year for their eighth title in the continental tournament.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

 

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