Former Egypt and United States coach Bob Bradley has told NBC Sports that Mohamed Elneny can be more than a pure defensive midfielder for Arsenal, describing him as an "all-around" player who is still improving his game.
Bradley coached Egypt from 2011 to 2013 and brought Elneny into the team as a 19-year-old, later helping arrange his move to Swiss club Basel.
While Elneny will provide cover for the injured Francis Coquelin at Arsenal, Bradley said the 23-year-old has developed his technical skills to the point where is more than just a holding midfielder.
"He is an all-round midfielder capable of playing different roles," Bradley said. "He reads the game, he moves well and he can play a little bit deeper.
"He's an all-round midfielder who can play deeper when needed, he can move forward and shoot from distance but he's not just a guy who stays in there and breaks up plays."
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger offered a similar description after signing Elneny for £7 million from Basel earlier in January, saying the Egyptian can play in either of the two deeper-lying midfield roles in Wenger's preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.
"He is a player who is adaptable in midfield. He can be box-to-box player but he can as well be a holding player so that is for us very interesting," Wenger said. "We wanted a versatile player and I wanted a player who can play purely defensively but can also play box-to-box."
Bradley, who now coaches French second-tier side Le Havre, said Elneny's work ethic was key in getting him to where he is now, and that he expects the player to keep improving at Arsenal.
"When Elneny started [with the national team] he was still young, he was only 19, but you could see that he trained really well every day," he said. "In the training he was improving technically. You could tell how he worked and how he wanted to get better.
"Little by little he became an important part of our team. His passing got sharper. He started to improve his ability with long passes. He was always a player who didn't hesitate to shoot from distance and at that time it wasn't always that he was scoring a lot, but you could see all these starting points."
Bradley credited former Egypt under-20 coach Dia El-Sayed with helping Elneny develop over the years, and said his former player's move to Arsenal provides a certain level of personal satisfaction.
"You think about this young guy that Dia knew so well, he came into the national team and how he grew and we were obviously able to help with the move to Basel and how he has continued to improve," he added.
"For Dia, myself, my coaching staff in Egypt and all the Egyptians this is something that everyone feels very good about, and we are excited for him to have his chance."