Mohamed Elneny: Should Wilshere start ahead of him next season?

Jack Wilshere had a metal plate inserted in his leg after cracking a fibula in pre-season training. With only 630 league minutes left this season, his contribution will likely not be much between now and end of the season.

However, with his European Championship involvement all but confirmed by England manager Roy Hodgson, he will likely have the match fitness and will be raring to go for his club next season, provided circumstances do not force him to go through yet another recovery in his career.


Injury crisis and Elneny’s emergence

However, though he has been guaranteed a place in the national side, his place is far from certain in the depleted Arsenal midfield that encompasses Mohamed Elneny. The winter signing was essentially a panic buy as Arsene Wenger had then been affording an unreliable Mathieu Flamini 14 starts in 17 games between November and February thanks to a dreadful injury crisis.

Brought in merely as a cover, he seized his opportunities and has now become a mainstay in the team in light of terrific displays against Tottenham Hotspur and Watford in the Premier League. His passing range has caught the eye as he seldom misplaces his passes.

Operating alongside a Francis Coquelin who sits deep, he has offered the solidarity that Wenger’s men had been missing for quite some time then. Despite his all-round performances, whether he will feature in the middle of the park next season remains uncertain.


Creativity issues and Cazorla replacement

Despite Arsenal’s results and performance improving in the wake of his league debut, Arsenal still miss the creativity of Santiago Cazorla, whom the former Basel midfielder has been deputizing for. He undoubtedly works his socks off for his new club and hardly commits a mistake, but he is less inventive and imaginative than his Spanish counterpart.

However, with Cazorla turning 32 halfway into the next campaign, he might show semblances of senescence.

Nevertheless, the London club already have an able and long-term Cazorla replacement under their umbrella in Wilshere. He is just as creative as the player he will go on to replace and displays stubbornness that he almost the whole of Arsenal roster lacks.

Partnering an equally passionate Coquelin in front of the Arsenal back four, the double pivot will surely ooze every quality that the best ones do.


Certified regista and Ozil’s complement

In addition, the England international has proved he could perform the deep lying playmaker role to perfection as evinced by his six MOTM performances in seven games for the Three Lions, which includes a brace against Slovenia en route to the European Championship. With the lack of goals and assists being his major criticism, he has succeeded in addressing it whilst sitting deep.

With Mesut Ozil often looking desperate for a technical brain to complement his genius, the 24-year-old midfielder would be the ideal partner the German could ask for. Their partnership married with the pace and prolificacy of Danny Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez will work wonders for the club.

Thus, unless his thirteenth recovery transforms him into what his detractors believe he is, he should walk into the matchday lineup next season, dispositioning Elneny to the bench.


Written by Praveen R. Paramasivam

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