Arsene Wenger reserved special praise for Mohamed Elneny and Nacho Monreal after the duo impressed during Arsenal's 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion on Monday night (25 September).
The Egyptian midfielder made his second start of the season and after a slightly shaky first-half, Elneny grew into the game and had a strong performance for the rest of the game in a defensive midfield role alongside Granit Xhaka.
The 25-year-old has struggled to nail down a regular place since his arrival from Basel and has been mainly used from the bench. But Wenger is confident that a run of games will help the midfielder build the needed match fitness and confidence.
Monreal, on the other hand, has been a regular in the first-team, but has moved from his usual left-back position to a left centre-back position following Wenger's shift to a 3-4-2-1 formation. The Spaniard was impressive during Arsenal's draw against Chelsea last weekend, and put in another man of the match worthy performance against the Baggies, which included an acrobatic clearance on the line to deny Jay Rodriguez his second goal of the season.
"They were outstanding, both of them. I am pleased for both of them of course, but especially for Elneny because he has not always played, but what he did tonight was very positive. The two of them are top players who have a fantastic mentality," Wenger said of Elneny and Monreal after the win, as quoted on Arsenal's official site.
Meanwhile, it was Alexandre Lacazette's brace that secured the points for the Gunners and Wenger believes the Frenchman is adapting quickly to the demands of the Premier League. He scored a poachers goal in the first-half after he was the first to react to an Alexis Sanchez free-kick that ricocheted off the crossbar, and then calmly slotted in a penalty in the second-half to wrap up the win. The two goals take his tally to four in six Premier League games, but he is yet to score away from home.
It was also the first time that Lacazette played with Sanchez, something everyone was clamouring to see. The duo combined well during the game and the manager revealed that they are working on improving the partnership during training and it is something that could become a regular sight in the upcoming games.
"Yes, he has found confidence and I believe he is adapting quickly to the demands of the Premier League," the French coach said about Lacazette. "I think it's quite positive. Now he has to score away from home, but he was unlucky as well away to Stoke I must say. Overall it's a good sign that he keeps scoring at home."
"Both of them can score goals, both of them can give assists so I expect a positive response from them on that. We work on the partnership in training of course, but the best way is to play together in competitive circumstances, so I believe that will come very quickly," Wenger added.