Arsene Wenger has used this week’s programme notes to speak about Ismael Bennacer, the Arsenal youngster who got a surprise call-up to the Africa Cup of Nations.
READ MORE: Ismael Bennacer profile
The 19-year-old midfielder is one of only two Arsenal players at the tournament this year. Algeria have yet to win a game (drawing 2-2 with Zimbabwe and losing 2-1 to Tunisia) and Bennacer is yet to feature despite being given the number 8 shirt and being on the bench for both games.
“Of course, we’re without Mohamed Elneny at the moment, who is at the Africa Cup of Nations,” Wenger told the programme.
“Ismael Bennacer is there too, with Algeria.
“Ismael is not a player who is spectacular, but he’s very efficient.
“He’s the kind of player who, once you put him in the team, you don’t take him out. He can defend very well, he’s a fighter, a left-footed player and is very efficient going forward. He’s a real box-to-box player. He can do all kinds of jobs. He’s still young, lacks a little bit of experience, but is a very promising player.”