19th December 2016. By Edward Stratmann.
Although Mohamed Elneny's has never really completely managed to cement himself as a bonafide starter in Arsenal's ferociously competitive midfield since signing almost 12 months ago, he's still absolutely loving his time with the Gunners.

"I think the past 11 months have been the best of my life and hopefully I will keep getting better and achieve big things with Arsenal," he told the Arsenal magazine.

Competing against the likes of Santi Cazorla, Granit Xhaka, Francis Coquelin and Aaron Ramsey for a starting berth poses an inherently difficult challenge to the Egyptian, but it's something he's whole heartedly embraced. "This is an honest competition and all players fight for places in the first team. This applies to me also, especially when you play for a big club like Arsenal," he said.

"I want to do my best to be in the starting line-up and fight for my place. I don't have a problem if I start or not. I'm always focused and ready to play. I listen to the manager and I do my best during training. Whether I play or not is up to the boss but I am always focused and ready to play. I don't want to disappoint when I'm selected to play."

While Elneny is not as creatively gifted as Cazorla or Xhaka, a player of his skillset is undoubtedly a great asset for Arsene Wenger to have up his sleeve. In certain matches where a stout, resolute, extremely fit operator who uses the ball with the utmost efficiency is needed, he's an ideal option. That's not to say he's ineffective against team's Arsenal will dominate against, for he's an astute retainer and recycler of possession, it's just playmaking from deep is not his forte.

He's a player that'll fulfill his responsibilities in a reliable, diligent manner, and one whom crucially doesn't often make mistakes. Furthermore, to add to his value, he's an intelligent interceptor and never one to shy away and put his foot in for a tackle, which ensures that overall Elneny offers something different to what Arsenal have in a good way.

The unquestionable standout element of Elneny's skillset, however, is his formidable work rate and fitness that allows him to cover a huge amount of ground rapidly. Indeed, this sees him repetitively able to cover for his teammates and snuff out many opposition attacks throughout matches.

His superhuman stamina is something he attributes to his time spent playing for endless hours on the streets as a boy.

"As a child, I often played for 10 hours on the street, and that's where I learned to run nonstop in the heat. I have to help the team with my strengths. When my teammates see me running, they run more themselves as well," he says.

"Running is part of my job, and I like to be in motion."

Although, the 24-year-old has his limitations, there's still no denying what an important role for the Gunners he can play. Even if he's named on the bench, the former Basel star still gives the side an experienced, battle hardened option to utilise depending on the situation.

Still a young man and learning everyday under the expert stewardship of Arsene Wenger, everyday Elneny's relishing the opportunity to learn and improve from Arsenal's French managerial genius. "The most important thing for me has been listening to Arsene Wenger's advice and putting it into action," he said.

"The manager has been giving me advice since the first day I arrived at the training ground. He always talks to me about the game and my position and that gave me a lot of confidence. He often instructs me to press the opponent and not give them time on the ball in our half. He's also helped me to understand the system and playing style he prefers to see us playing."

Either way, as a starter or for squad depth, the man Arsenal signed for reportedly around £10 million, certainly offers a viable option whenever he's called upon.

He may not be a world beater, but he's a tidy, well rounded footballer who gets through his work with commitment, dependability and conviction.

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