Arsenal star highlights the key to being successful in midfield role

Mohamed Elneny says central midfielders have to be able to both attack and defend in the modern game.

Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny has told the club's official website that his adaptability makes him the perfect player to have in the heart of the Gunners side because central midfielders have to be adept in both attack and defence.

The Egyptian was Arsene Wenger's only January signing and has impressed since arriving from Basle in the transfer window, making six appearances and starting the club's last three matches.

Wenger has praised the 23-year-old's start to life in England, and the player himself has previously stated that whilst still in Switzerland he always believed he was good enough to make it at a top club.

Elneny has now highlighted one particular attribute which he believes makes him the perfect man to be given a regular starting berth for the North London side.

He told the club's website: "A holding midfielder that does not attack does not exist any more. All players have to be able to attack and defend, that’s normal now.

"I have to adapt to various players. I have to know the style of play of every one of them very well so that we can gel together. Every one of them has different qualities so I see what I can do to complement them. For instance, if the player likes to go forward, I have to sit back more and vice-versa.

"I like to go forward but if we are defending I have to be there because my primary role is as a holding midfielder. The style of play varies depending on opponent. For example, if we are playing a team that goes forward often then I have to help in defence, but if we are playing a team that defends most of time then I also have to help in attack."

Elneny made his first Premier League start for Arsenal in their 2-2 draw against North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and since then has been given the nod in the FA Cup clashes with Hull City and Watford.

He will be hoping to retain his spot and play on one of the biggest stages in football when the Gunners take on Barcelona at the Nou Camp in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday night.

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