As quoted by the Evening Standard, Mohamed Elneny has openly expressed a desire to sign a new Arsenal contract.
The defensive midfielder is currently bound to the club until the summer of 2022, which means he’ll be entering the final 12 months of his contract at the end of this season and Arsenal would have to either contemplate a sale or offer him a new deal, if they wish to avoid the risk of losing his services for free.
Elneny started out in the youth setup at El Ahly back in Egypt, and also played for the Under-23 side at El Mokawloon before being promoted to the first team at the latter club. In January 2013, he made his way to Switzerland, joining Basel on an initial loan which was turned into a permanent deal the following summer. Arsenal signed him three years later, reportedly paying a transfer fee of just over £10 million.
The 28-year-old has never been a player who can dazzle with dribbling skills or contribute much going forward, except in terms of pressing, winning the ball back quickly and moving it on. In fact, he only has four goals and eight assists in 119 appearances across all competitions for the Gunners. His place in the starting XI has never been guaranteed, and in 2019, he was sent on a season-long loan to Turkish side Besiktas. Many believed that move signified the end of his days at the Emirates, but Elneny insists he always meant to come back.
He says Arteta helped him greatly last summer by explaining his ideas and exactly what was expected of him to do on the pitch, and the 30 appearances this season so far prove that his still has a role to play at the club.
“Before I came back, Mikel didn’t speak to me, but after when we came to the start of the season he started to speak to me.
“And he said: ‘Mo, we have new things now. We have to understand how I want the midfield to play and always if you don’t understand something from the new system you have now, just come to ask me”.
In the end, Elneny spoke about his loyalty and wish to remain at the Emirates.
“Of course, for me I am always loyal to Arsenal,” he said. “And if Arsenal say to me: ‘Sign a new contract’, of course I would be happy to do this.”