It has now been confirmed by Arsenal that the Egyptian midfielder Mo Elneny has extended his contract and will be starting his seventh season at the Emirates for the next campaign. Elneny has never been an automatic starter in all those years but has always proved to be an able backup when called upon, as he proved yet again during our injury-filled end of season run-in.
Everyone thought that Elneny would be moving to the Turkish Superliga this summer but Mikel Arteta has intervened after being impressed with his contribution this season. Arteta told Arsenal.com: “Mo is a really important part of the team. He brings endless energy, enthusiasm and commitment to the team and is loved by everyone. He’s an important player for us on and off the pitch, a real role model to our younger players and I’m delighted he’s staying.”
Elneny himself had made no secret of the fact that he was hoping that the club would give him another year, aif not longer, nd now its been confirmed he is over the moon. He said: “I feel like when you play in one of the biggest teams in the world and you have an amazing family and the fans are really amazing as well – they make me feel special,”
“You feel like you are special for this club and this club is special for you. Of course, I want to stay here until I finish my career actually.”
He went on praise Arteta for believing in him: “I needed to hear what he’s thinking about me and I always say to him, ‘Mikel, I really appreciate what you’ve done for me.’
“Because with Mikel I play more than I was before. I said to him, ‘Mikel, if you say to me that you want me to stay or you want me to leave, I’m going to do whatever you want.’
“Then the way he spoke about me is something that really makes me emotional.
“It was really good for me to hear it from Mikel, about the way I play and the way I’m happy with him and being positive. It’s incredible for me to feel this way from Mikel, from the club and from Edu. I’m really happy.”
I don’t think there will be many Arsenal fans that would complain about the club giving a new contract to one of our most loyal and useful backup players, and at 29 years of age, he may have a few more years at the Emirates yet….
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