‘The only individual who resembled us didn’t play’: Arsenal legend Gilberto Silva insists that Mohamed Elneny was under-used by Gunners and is the only midfielder they have had in recent years in the mould of him and Patrick Vieira
- Arsenal outcast Mohamed Elneny was compared to club legend Patrick Vieira
- The Egyptian joined Besiktas on loan in August after falling out of favour
- Former Gunner Gilberto Silva claimed Elneny fitted the same profile as Vieira
Arsenal reject Mohamed Elneny deserves another chance at Arsenal and is reminiscent of Gunners legend Patrick Vieira, according to the Frenchman’s former midfield partner Gilberto Silva.
The Egyptian, 27, has struggled to nail down a first-team spot since moving to the Emirates for £7million from Basel in 2016 and joined Turkish club Besiktas on loan in January.
Yet Silva, who was part of the 2003 Invincibles team, insisted that Elneny was the only midfielder at the club who was similar to former captain Vieira, and he had been wasted under the now-sacked Unai Emery.
Mohamed Elneny (L) was compared to Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira (R) by Gilberto Silva
‘In the last few years, the situation has been difficult at Arsenal,’ Silva told France Football.
‘They have very similar players in midfield, with profiles that resemble each other and not really players of the profile of Patrick Vieira, or even my profile.
‘The only individual who resembled [us], that could have been Mohamed Elneny, but he didn’t play. But they have not really had those types of players to cover the defensive midfield position.
‘Arsenal always plays positively, trying to deploy an attacking game, and it is not easy to find someone to marry the ability to play the forward game and to do the work in the shadows in the defensive phases.’
Elneny has played just 89 times across four seasons with Arenal but with his contract due to expire this summer may have played his last games for the club.
In comparison, Vieira made 392 appearances between 1996 and 2005, in that period captaining the club as part of the 2003 Invincibles team, winning three Premier League titles and three FA Cups.
Gilberto Silva felt that only Elneny was comparable in profile to the legendary Frenchman
Former boss Unai Emery was heavily criticised by Silva for underusing Elneny when in charge
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