BBC pundit Pat Nevin impressed by Arsenal ace Elneny's technical ability, but not his fitness

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Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny faced Hull City at the KC Stadium.

Former player Pat Nevin believes Mohamed Elneny is evidently a very good footballer but suggests the player needs to improve his fitness to become an Arsenal regular, the BBC reports.

The Egypt international was signed in January and has gradually become more involved in first-team affairs, starting the Gunners’ 4-0 win over Hull City in their fifth round FA Cup replay.

Nevin, co-commentating on BBC Radio Five, was impressed by the player’s technical ability but adds he needs to improve his fitness if he wishes to nail down a regular starting berth.

"Elneny is definitely a very good footballer - when he gets on the ball he wants to control midfield. But I think he'll need more fitness to stay in the side,” Nevin explained.

Elneny made it clear upon his arrival that he was an all-round midfielder, yet so far he has predominantly featured as a deep-lying playmaker tasked with defensive contributions.

Arsenal have sorely missed Spain international Santi Cazorla, and Elneny’s arrival at the club can be partly attributed to Cazorla picking up a lengthy injury and leaving such a void in his absence.

Francis Coquelin is regarded as the club’s best defensive midfielder, but his struggles of late have been well-documented and Aaron Ramsey is another who has clear defensive frailties.

It leaves Elneny as the club’s freshest player in that position, and his performance against Hull should at least keep him in the starting eleven for the visit of West Bromwich Albion this weekend.

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