Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny has been named in the Egypt squad for the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) and the midfielder will miss at least three Premier League fixtures in the coming month, against Bournemouth, Swansea and Burnley, respectively. Elneny is leaving for Egypt on January 2, a day before their clash against Eddie Howe's men, leaving the Gunners slightly short in the midfield as Santi Cazorla is out with injury.

"He's going to the Africa Cup of Nations on January 2," revealed Arsène Wenger, on Arsenal's official website. "He will be in the squad against Crystal Palace on New Year's Day but after he will leave us to play for Egypt."

Egypt start their campaign against Mali on January 17, followed by group games against Uganda on January 21 before concluding against Ghana on January 25. The final takes place on February 5, a day after the Gunners' crucial clash against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, which may make or break their title challenge.

Elneny has made 10 appearances in the league this season, picking up only one assist in the process and was part of the side which started against Manchester United at Old Trafford. He made five substitute appearances in the Champions League and added some much needed depth in the centre of the park.

The Gunners play Crystal Palace on New Year's Day and have a lot of injury problems to worry about, with Theo Walcott, Kieran Gibbs, Santi Cazorla, Alex oxlade-Chamberlain and a few others missing from the squad. However, Shkodran Mustafi could make a return to the first XI after the last few games with a hamstring problem. The Gunners lost two games, against Everton and Manchester City, in his absence and are currently nine points adrift of leaders Chelsea in the league table.

Mohamed Elneny rues a missed chance
Mohamed Elneny will miss the rest of January. Getty Images