Mohamed Elneny has never really become a regular in Arsenal’s first team since moving to the Emirates from Basel over two years ago, and in fact has only 34 League starts since that time, but he is still determined to fight for a place in the starting XI.
The Egyptian international admitted that he could have easily been sold or sent out on loan during the summer transfer window but he made it clear that he had no interest in leaving the Gunners. “There were some clubs interested in me because I was not playing enough games and maybe they thought they could sign me or even have me on loan,” Elneny said on Arsenal.com.
“I heard about this in the news just like everyone else and I was not interested at all. I spoke with the people here at the club and I told them, ‘I don’t want to leave. I want to fight for my position.’
“I trust myself, I have a dream to pursue and I am not going to give up on it. I dream big and this is one of the biggest clubs in the world and I want to stay.
“The club welcomed my decision to stay and that was the end of it. People were saying, ‘You aren’t playing enough games, maybe you should leave or go on loan somewhere’ but I wanted to prove myself.
“I played the first game of the season in the Community Shield and I proved I can play for Arsenal and will continue to fight for my position.”
And so he has! Since the summer he has been ever present in our Europa League and Cup games and has started 10 League games, at times showing extremely good form. He was even given a new contract by Wenger, and considering he is still only 25 perhaps he could improve even more and become a first team regular in the future.
So are we glad he chose to stay despite not getting first team football every week?