If there was one player who Arsenal fans thought was guaranteed to be sold this summer, it was Mohamed Elneny. The Egyptian was signed back in January 2016, but he has never quite nailed down a regular starting spot.
Arsene Wenger certainly trusted him enough to have him around, but Unai Emery had different ideas. In the Spaniard’s first season at the Emirates, Elneny started just 12 games in all competitions. The midfielder was shipped out on loan last summer to Turkish side Besiktas, where he had a very impressive campaign.
All of us thought it was only a matter of time before he would be sold or loaned out again this summer, but Mikel Arteta surprised us. Elneny has been a regular this season having started five of Arsenal’s seven games in all competitions.
The former Basel man sat down for an interview on Arsenal’s official website, where he claimed that he finally feels wanted after losing all his confidence under Emery over a year ago.
Elneny: I lost my confidence under Emery
He said: “Before I came to London, I didn’t speak to him. I was a bit… not stressed, but just thinking about what would he like. When I sat with him, I said, ‘The way you train, the way you want to play is the way I love to play’ and really I love the way we train, the way he is assisting everything in the club now and it makes me excited to give 100 per cent for the team.”
“Under Emery, I was not playing much, that is why you can lose your confidence and your feeling to play. That is why when I went to Besiktas, on a one-year loan, I played always and brought the confidence back, and when I came back here I saw everyone happy for me to come back.”
“Everyone was excited to see me back, and when I trained, everyone gave me good feedback, saying ’Mo, you did well’ and this makes you get your confidence back. I will build it and build it and every day I try to learn new things. Yes [I feel wanted], all the time, every day.”
Elneny is certainly a very useful player to have in the squad. The Egyptian is tidy in possession, solid defensively and is positionally disciplined. He is an excellent player to bring on when we have to see out a game, which makes it a very smart decision to keep hold of him.
With Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira out on loan, him staying was extremely important for our squad dept. However, with the addition of Thomas Partey, Elneny’s game time is likely to reduce considerably, especially in the Premier League.