Former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva has tipped Mohamed Elneny to play a key role in Mikel Arteta’s team because of his consistent performances.
Since he returned from a season-long loan at Besiktas in the summer, the former Basel player has produced fine performances for Arsenal in five Premier League appearances this season.
The 28-year-old Egyptian is in contention to feature in the middle of the park when the Gunners visit Tottenham Hotspur for Sunday’s North London derby with Thomas Partey still a doubt due to a thigh injury.
Silva, who was part of the Invincibles, believes Arsenal need a stable presence in the midfield and Elneny fits the role.
“Before they signed Thomas Partey, I’d spoken many times about Arsenal’s need to bring in another central midfielder, and they’re unlucky their new signing has been out with an injury recently,” Silva told Ladbrokes. “But Granit Xhaka has been the regular player in that position in the last couple of years.
“But Partey played alongside Mohamed Elneny in Arsenal’s game against Manchester United a few weeks ago and I thought they worked really well as a partnership, despite the fact that they’re not the kind of players who get that much credit for the jobs they do – Elneny especially.
“But I think he can be a key player for Arsenal this year. He’s not an inconsistent player, he always performs well and in that role you need someone who is going to consistently do a job for the team.
“It’s an area of the pitch where you need stability, and I think that Elneny could be the player who fits that role alongside Xhaka or Partey.
“Every good team is very strong at the back, that back three or back four, and then equally as strong in the middle of the pitch. After that, you worry about the forward players.
“Arsenal have the forward players who are capable of performing well and scoring goals, but they need to strengthen the middle part of the field.”
The former Brazil international also made a case for Lucas Torreira, who has been sent out on loan to Atletico Madrid after struggling to find a regular playing spot in Arteta’s squad.
He added: “I think Lucas Torreira had a good start to his career at Arsenal. He played some really good games, but then last season he played some not-so-good games and was dropped to the bench as a result.
“In the end he moved to Atletico Madrid on loan but I still believe he has a chance at Arsenal. At some point players will believe they don’t have a chance at a team – especially when a new manager comes in – but Torreira definitely has quality. He’s a great player.”