According to Ahly News, West Ham United are interested in the services of Mohamed Elneny. The Arsenal star has struggled to get regular opportunities under Unai Emery and has been deemed surplus to the requirements. Now the Hammers are believed to be keen on the midfielder. They are willing to fork out £9 million for the Egyptian international, but the Gunners could ask for a higher fee as they aim to fund a move for Wilfried Zaha.
West Ham’s woes in midfield
West Ham United have a stacked midfield department, boasting the services of Jack Wilshere, Mark Noble and Declan Rice among many others. However, star midfielder Pedro Obiang has been linked with a move to Sassouolo, and the Spaniard’s departure could create a huge void in central midfield.
Besides, the likes of Carlos Sanchez, Manuel Lanzini and Wilshere have all struggled with injuries, thus accentuating the need for a new midfielder this summer. The Hammers have already brought in Pablo Fornals earlier this summer. But, the ex-Villarreal star is more of a playmaker and is likely to be utilised in an advanced role.
Where does Elneny fit in at West Ham?
Elneny can be considered as a potential replacement for Obiang, should he leave the club this summer. The Egyptian international has had his struggles with a lack of game-time at Arsenal, but he has the quality to enhance West Ham’s midfield department.
Even though he is unlikely to be Manuel Pellegrini’s first-choice in the number eight role, the 27-year-old will provide excellent back-up for the likes of Wilshere and Noble. Elneny’s remarkable work-ethic, coupled with his technical quality, will add a new dimension to Pellegrini’s midfield unit next season.
How will Elneny fit into Pellegrini’s system?
West Ham United have predominantly appeared in a 4-1-4-1 setup under the tutelage of Pellegrini. And the Chilean mastermind is expected to retain a similar formation next season. Rice is a guaranteed starter in the holding role, meaning the four midfielders in Noble, Fornals, Lanzini and Wilshere will compete for the two advanced midfield roles.
Lanzini is expected to be the club’s first-choice alongside Noble. And that could seriously hamper Elneny’s opportunities to make an impact in the starting lineup as he will have to compete with Wilshere and Fornals as backups.
Therefore, a transfer to West Ham may not be the most logical move for the Egyptian unless the Hammers endure another injury crisis next season. It will be interesting to see how this transfer saga takes shape in the coming days.
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