Wenger: ‘Complicated’ Elneny deal close to completion


Arsene Wenger has confirmed that a deal for Mohamed Elneny is close to completion having taken a little longer than expected.

Negotiations with the Egyptian’s club, FC Basle, have been successful with the hold up down to work permit complications. There’s no suggestion the move could collapse with Wenger happy to speak openly about the midfielder in his pre-Sunderland press conference.

“The deal is complicated a little bit,” said Wenger. “We work hard on it, we hope in the next two to three days we get to the end of it.

He added: “The only [signing]? I don’t rule out anybody else. He [Elneny] will at least be one of the signings and comes into an area where we are short at the moment.”

The boss also tackled a series of questions on other transfer business, admitting Mathieu Debuchy could still leave the club this month.

“He has an opportunity to go, yes, but we’ve not been in touch with any club,” noted Wenger.

Spurious rumours linking Watford’s Troy Deeney with a move to the Emirates and a Chelsea approach for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were dismissed as rubbish by a chuckling Wenger.

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63 Comments on "Wenger: ‘Complicated’ Elneny deal close to completion"

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Well, it’s a certainty now that he won’t be registered in time for Sunderland. There’s a chance he may make the bench for Liverpool though. Especially with Alexis definitely out of that match and only having a ‘chance’ to make Stoke.


I don’t know why our signing are always complicated while others make it look like a pretty straight forward process?


It’s complicated because we’re signing a non-EU player whose country is outside the FIFA rankings that qualify him automatically for a work permit.


I wonder how that is ever a good criteria for a work permit.. It sounds almost xenophobic.. Judging a player based on the country he plays for. Why not judge the player on his own merits..


Great point. To protect English players in order to allow for youth development is one thing. Creating other layers such that talent from some parts of the world cannot have access to great opportunities is a different matter altogether.
Something for the FA to think about.
Wait, FA? Think? What am I doing? smh…

John C

It’s the FA who help devise the rules, they would prefer if there were no foreign players in order to “protect” the national team.

Andy Mack

It’s not the FA that decides on work permits. It’s the Government.

John C

Wrong, players are endorsed by the FA for a work permit, they help set the criteria.

Andy Mack

John C, you’re wrong.
It’s 100% government run.
The FA can support an application but does not (100% does not) decide.

John C

No you are 100% wrong. The work permit is based on a points system that requires 70 points of which the FA endorsement counts for 50 points.

All appeals are made to an FA panel who then decides if the player in question would improve English football.

A quick Google search will tell you this.

Andy Mack

Look again and you’ll see it says within the guidelines of the UK immigration dept. The UK immigration dept issue the work permit, not the FA. If the FA support the application then it’s highly likely that it’ll go through (unless the player is a known drug dealer etc) and the delay is likely to be due to the useless FA. But the FA do not issue the work permit. No ‘ifs’ ‘buts’ or ‘maybes’ about it, the UK Immigration make the ultimate decision.

John C

Andy Mack please show me where i’ve written that the FA give out work permits?

I’ve written “help devise the rules”, “endorsed by the FA”, and “help set the criteria”, all of which is true given that their endorsement brings 5/7’s of the points they need for the government to issue a work permit.

You need some lessons on reading and comprehension

Andy Mack

I said the government decided on work permits and you said ‘wrong’ !
So now you’re saying I’m right!

John C

No thats not what i said, i said the FA set the criteria for players to receive a work permit, which is correct given that without the FA’s endorsement players won’t be issued one.

Unless a player receives an FA endorsement there’s 100% chance a player will not receive the permit as there’s no appeals mechanism directly to the home office but only the FA as it is them who decide if a player matches the footballing criteria.

Again get yourself some reading and comprehension lessons.

Nasri's missing chinbone
Nasri's missing chinbone

Oooooh no you’re wrong. I said this and you said that and I’m right and your family should be enslaved by mormons to knit snoods.

The pair of you could have saved some time by not arguing the same point


its complicated because he is in market terms relatively cheap. Under the current rules if the transfer fee is over 10 million pounds he automatically qualifies for a work permit.


You are both wrong. Father Christmas gives out work permits in the winter period.

Abhishek Jonwal

The players are judged on their merits. It’s just that it’s a process first the application is rejected, then once the club applies again, the player is judged upon various factors and if the FA think that he’s a player that can add something to the league and the game they accept the application.


I’d think that the default process is that everybody needs a work permit sent for approval, case by case, but it’s only automatic for players capped by certain countries. Besides, Alex Song got it so I doubt that the bar is too high.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

If you look in the past, Georges Weah a former ballon d’or from Liberia would have had troubles playing in England. His country was at war not participating in tournaments so he virtually had no international game or very few.

Andy Mack

There are other options for a work permit and he would probably (not 100%) have got the permit as a ‘high vale player’ (or something like that) which says he’s top quality. But it wouldn’t have been automatic.

Crash Fistfight

George Weah did play in England – for Chelsea.


Ofcourse the work permit issue has made this a bit complicated.

However like Hisham said our transfers in general seems to take a long time.

Whether that’s because as fans it feel a long wait or its case of others throwing more money at any complications, I don’t know.

Egyptian Gunner

Can someone please explain this to me ?

Giroud Awakening

Saw an article yesterday about Troy Deeney ‘snubbing’ Arsenal and basically saying he was flattered but didn’t want to play for Arsenal. Glad to hear of this Wenger chuckle..


I live in Stoke these days and have a belly which I try my best to hide.

However, if we ever sign or even if Wenger says we are interested in Deene, I’m willing to streak down the high street wearing an Arsenal themed condom!


wenger was asked if the Deeney link was Rubbish and he said yes, John Cross tweeted that it was disrespectful of a journo to imply a (made up) transfer story was rubbish.

Dale Cooper

Sometimes I wonder where all the John Cross hate comes from and then get reminded when he comes out with shit like that.

chidi mbabie

complicated? I dare say its done and dusted. welcome to arsenal elny mo.


I hope he’s elneny good.

Sonic Gunner

When the word “complicated” comes into play you know Arsenal is in the business.
Now I’m a believer.
If not for the current injuries I’d have loved Chamberlain’s switch to Chelsea with ONE sole mission – “COMPLETE agent fabregas’ mission”
Fabregas has been turned, we need another insider.
Welcome to Arsenal my Egyptian brother.

sanogo's missed kick

I can’t front, I do love the agent Fabregas jokes but please leave the OX out of it! The lad is having a tough period but is at the beginning of a hopefully long career, plus he seems a sensitive sort I’m not sure he could take that kind of banter on the chin.


Blog Basel Egyptian club? Typo I guess


I wish could get the video of the chuckle. And then create the chuckle-o-meter. It rates the kind of transfer bullshit associated with Arsenal players going to questionable clubs/clowns such as Chelsh*t!

Andy Mack

It’ll be on ‘Arsenal Player’ soon.

God is Bergkamp, Bergkamp is God
God is Bergkamp, Bergkamp is God

A chuclke-o-meter where the relative db indicates how bullshit a transfer is? Its pure gold


It will be good to get it over the line, it sounds like it is pretty much done which is encouraging. If we are able to sign another player to boost the squad that would not hurt but I think we have enough to challenge. If we are still at the top or close by the end of January I think we will push on and win.

MrBrain + Ozil's vision
MrBrain + Ozil's vision

Elneny, O Elneny. Wenger is now even more ruthless in the Market. You’ve got to love the man.


Signing Elneny is not ruthless…If Wenger wants to be ruthless he should go for Aubameyang….That is ruthless…

Dale Cooper

Yeah, we all know how well chasing strikers that don’t want to leave their club turns out…

Jack Action

Aubemayang is never coming, and Wenger would never waste his time pursuing. Dortmund never sells in January and Wenger passed on the chance to buy him 3 years ago for 1/3 the price.


The good news is that Mr wenger has finally confirmed he’s after Elneny.


To the tune of “Valerie” – Amy Winehouse

“Why don’t you come on over – Elnenyyyy – do do do”


“EEEEEELLLLL-NEEEEEEEE-ny-ny-ny, push pineapple shake the tree!” to Agadoo by Black Lace

Red Ed

“Mo mo, mo mo mo mo, mo mo mo mo, mo mo mo Elneny”. To the tune of “there’s no limits”. If you knew the effort I put in to getting the right number of Mo’s whilst listening to music you’d adopt it immediately AND give me royalties.


Like that


“He is on a year long loan. We have a commitment
with West Brom.”

Boss on Gnabry, your article on a recalled Gnabry. blogs off the mark?

He's got no hair but we don't care...
He's got no hair but we don't care...

“He comes into an area we’re short”, yep, that’s one sorted.
You know another area we’re short and could stop us winning the league? A striker! Please sign one.
The amount of chances created by our very own Wizard of Özil that were wasted by the likes of Theo was enough to make you weep!


Chances created by Özil this season are converted for a career high for the german so far! How does that make you weep?
I know games against Bournemouth looked ridicilous, but Theo and Giroud are converting them pretty well over all! And remember we have that chilean guy coming back 😉

He's got no hair but we don't care...
He's got no hair but we don't care...

Did you watch the game against Newcastle? yep, Theo & co’s conversions of Özil assists were devastating. Right?
And I’m also guessing the thumbs down are because no-one thinks we need a striker? Yep, good sense.


our players are converting the Ozil chances at a career high for Ozil, higher than Rondaldo, Benzema and co did at Real Madrid.

He's got no hair but we don't care...
He's got no hair but we don't care...

Right and that makes it ok that Theo misses 100% of his Özil assists on a tight game with one goal in it.
Besides, it actually doesn’t even matter about the conversation rate, we’re short in the striker department. If Wenger can see it in midfield, surely he sees it up front.


Even if benz or lewadonski were available, some wouldn’t want us to sign them so Giroud doesn’t get benched.


No, I don’t want Benzema because he seems a twat. Buys diamond encrusted footballs and has old friends that are into blackmail that he actually agrees to deliver a message for. No fucking thanks.

Lewandowski I’d take in a heartbeat.


It certainly is a positive that Wenger is willing to admit to this transfer being worked on when normally he just has that sly smile and says “he is not our player so I can’t speak about him”. It’s also positive to hear him say there could be more business. Would love to see us get Aubameyang, but know that won’t happen (esp after his latest comments), but someone like Rabiot (even if on loan) would be great too. It’s great Wenger is working to get some cover at DM, but it’s uncertain how much of an impact Elneny can have right away as he has never played at this level. He could pull a Sanchez and acclimate right away, but more likely it will take him some time as it does most players coming from other leagues (and he is not coming from another top league either).


I really do think its a total fallacy to say that it takes a player coming from a foreign league, any longer to get used to his new club, for me just as many players transferred from one English club to another English club have trouble settling in. Its just a lazy soundbite journos like to trot out as to the reason a foreign player might not be playing as good as they thought they would.

Egyptian Gunner

Can someone please explain this for me ? The work permit thing..thanks in advance

Jamie Vardinho

As far as I’m aware players without an EU nationality need a work permit application approved to emigrate and play in the UK.

The rules vary by EU country.


Has anyone else seen Paul Merson criticizing the Elneny deal because it isn’t expensive enough and then saying we should go for deeney? Please tell me I’m not the only one that want to slap him right across the face.


I completely agree, and I think he’s needed more than a slap for a while now.
I mean, this is the buffoon who said that the physios and medics injected him with “stuff that they didn’t even explain to him”. Even though they probably did explain it to him but he was too much of a drunken slob to comprehend.
This is also the idiot who says “I mean” at least 9 times every sentence and at least 30 times every time he embarks on one of his ‘Arsenal are fucked’ rants.

On another note, I’m glad this transfer is getting pushed over the line as we need some freshness to our midfield over the next few weeks or we risk wasting our season.
Also, if we don’t manage to sign another forward player to boost our attack and help rotate, I think it would be interesting to bring Gnabry back. Although he’s low on confidence, fitness and apparently not good enough to get into the WBA squad, I think we’ll find that his confidence will improve tremendously if were to come back and be given a bit-part role to play in the squad. Isn’t that exactly what we need? Not someone to take the place of anyone in our starting XI, but someone to chip in when required. And to be honest I think this is what Wenger is waiting for – in fact, if we don’t sign a forward player I’m putting money on Gnabry coming back.

Any thoughts?

Jamie Vardinho

I’m inclined to agree we need another forward even if it’s just cover. Also a DM if possible (although Elneny is a box to box guy I think he could be molded this way).

Just wondering if Debuchy is going on loan, Chambers would become cover for Bellerin?

That then means we are one central defender short in terms of cover

Jamie Vardinho

Seems like a good player, obviously the PL is a step up from Swiss League.

Also wondering, how comes all Arseblog articles/posts aren’t available for comment?

Rohan Noronha

Arsenal definitely need a long term option in the holding midfield slot. This complicated deal better get done. And i think the league should also rule for 2 english players in the starting level, to improve the English game overall