Martin Keown has praised Mohamed Elneny after his showing against West Brom, calling the Arsenal midfielder a “standout” performer at the Emirates.

The Egyptian came in for a surprise start on Monday night. Partnering Granit Xhaka in midfield with Aaron Ramsey played higher up the pitch, Elneny was typically busy and energetic and helped things run smoothly in our engine room.

Keown was impressed by the midfielder’s performance and thought he did better than his Swiss partner. “(Granit) Xhaka looked short of confidence, I thought Elneny was the standout of the two (holding midfield players),” Keown said on Radio 5 Live via the Daily Star.

“He came in and did very well. It is an area that concerns me – they don’t set the world alight and I don’t think they’ll frighten Europe those two. But Wenger believes in then, and they’ve got to believe in themselves. Elneny certainly did tonight, I thought there was a big improvement in his performance tonight.”

Xhaka has had a sloppy start to the season and hasn’t been as consistently tidy or effective with the ball as he could be, in my opinion. Elneny, meanwhile, will surely be happy that he’s getting more opportunities in the Arsenal first-team.

He made 46 appearances in the one-and-a-half years he’s been at club before this season. So far this season, he’s made two Premier League start, and has started in Arsenal’s games in the Europa League and the Carabao Cup.

Against West Brom, he was reliable in possession as he completed 93% of his passes and gave Arsenal some extra security against a physically imposing West Brom midfield. The 25-year-old will be looking forward to getting even more game time when Arsenal take on BATE Borisov on Thursday.

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News and feature writer with a BA in Creative and Professional Writing from the University of East London. Long-time Arsenal fan also following Sevilla and local side Southend United. You can find me on Twitter @jeinchy29 talking about Arsenal and the issues affecting the English game,