Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has claimed new signing Mohamed Elneny can develop into a very strong player at the club both in attack and defence.

The 23-year-old Egypt international, signed from Swiss side FC Basel for a reported £5m fee, plays predominantly as a defensive midfielder. But speaking ahead of Arsenals trip to Stoke City on 17 January, Wenger said Elneny was a promising young player who can contribute to all areas of the field.

Hes a defensive midfielder who can contribute in an area where we are short. Hes a young promising player who has already adapted to Europe. He has not come straight from Egypt to England, he said. Hes played three years in Switzerland and I expect him to develop with us into a very strong player because he has both sides of the game. He can defend and he can attack. And thats the way we want to play in midfield.

Elneny played in Basels win over Chelsea in the 2013-14 Champions League and is eligible to play in this seasons competition.

Arsenal currently sit top of the Premier League table on goal difference ahead of surprise package Leicester City. They are also still in the FA Cup, where they next play Championship outfit Burnley in the fourth round, and the Champions League, where they face reigning champions Barcelona in the last 16.