New Arsenal signing Mohamed Elneny should become a very strong player in both attack and defencse, manager Arsene Wenger said on Friday (January 15).
Wenger also told a news conference at the London Colney training ground northwest of the capital that Arsenal are making good progress and a league win at Stoke on Sunday would confirm that.
The Frenchman has changed his opinion of second-placed Leicester, saying they have shown remarkable consistency.
Midfielder Elneny, aged 23, signed from Basel and will be eligible for the Champions League.
Wenger said of the Egyptian international: "Well he is a midfielder, a defensive midfielder who can contribute in an area where we, at the moment we are short and he is as well a young promising player who has already adapted into Europe, he is not straight from Egypt to England - he has played three years in Switzerland - and I expect him to develop with us into a very strong player because he has both sides of the game, he can defend and he can attack and that's the way we want to play in midfield."
Arsenal top the Premier League on goal difference over Leicester, while Stoke are seventh and victory over them would be good, said Wenger.
This season's league battle has been particularly tight and Wenger said consistency is the key.
"What we learn in this Premier League, every week you think 'Oh what, how many surprises we have seen today? That will not happen again'. And the week after, it happens again and again and again, since the start of the season. So that shows you that the consistency of your focus, the consistency of your determination will certainly play a big part in the outcome of this league," he told the news conference.
As for surprise package Leicester, Wenger has changed his opinion.
"Well to be completely honest with you I thought they might not last. I have changed my opinion today because their remarkable consistency makes them one of the contenders. When the bubble bursts, as you say, most of the time it's before Christmas or during the Christmas period. They didn't. And so I believe that you have to count Leicester," he said.
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