Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has a tactical test to pass in fixing up his midfield as Mohamed Elneny tested positive for coronavirus and has been ruled out of their game this weekend. The Gunners will be traveling to Elland Road to take on Leeds on Sunday and will be hoping to secure all three points.
The Egypt international midfielder was away on international duty with his national team side and unfortunately contracted the virus. The 28-year-old has stayed behind in Cairo and is currently self-isolating in a bid to conquer the virus as soon as possible.
The absence of the midfielder would have been the source of little worries under the tenure of the last two managers Arsene Wenger and Unai Emery. Under both managers, Elneny was only a bit-part player and found opportunities hard to come by at the club. As a result, he even had to leave the club and spent the entirety of the 2019/2020 season on loan at Turkish League side Besiktas.
Since Mikel Arteta took over from Emery, however, the player has been brought back into the fold and is now more of an important player at the club more than ever.
Elneny has appeared in all of Arsenal’s eight Premier League games this season and even played the whole of the 90 minutes in the games against Manchester United and Aston Villa before the international break kicked in.
The first option Arteta can execute is a straight swap. Grant Xhaka is the player that has been used in place of Elneny this season and vice versa. The Swiss could be an ideal replacement for his Egyptian teammate.
The second option is to go for a 3-man midfield. Either a 4-3-3 or a 3-4-3 formation. Either of both could turn out to produce victory.