Mohamed Elneny has revealed he caught Arsenal’s eye while they were scouting one of his FC Basel team-mates.
Arsenal paid around £5million to sign Elneny from Basel in January, with the midfielder becoming a useful member of Arsene Wenger’s first-team squad.
However, the 24-year-old admits he wasn’t the Gunners’ initial target.
“I was very happy when I joined Arsenal but I asked one of my friends how the negotiations started and if they had scouted me before,” Elneny told DMC Sports.
“He told me that Arsenal officials were scouting Fabian Schär in the first place, and that’s when they noticed me.
“All of us at Basel knew that Schär was linked with Arsenal and at every season’s end, we congratulated him as the move was close to completion, according to Schär himself. But afterwards, things changed quickly.
“My agent told me that Arsenal officials came many times to watch Schär but they were impressed every time by my performances and development and they went on to sign me instead.”
Defender Schär has since moved to the Bungesliga, where he plays for Hoffenheim.