Mohamed Elneny wants new Arsenal contract and reveals he always ‘expected’ to return to fold after Besiktas loan

MOHAMED ELNENY hopes to have secured a new Arsenal contract after his impressive revival under Mikel Arteta.

In his first four years at the club, the defensive midfielder was largely a squad player and spent last season on loan at Besiktas.

A decent spell in Turkey led to Arsenal boss Arteta giving the 28-year-old a surprise start in the Community Shield win over Liverpool last August.

Elneny has not looked back since and praised his coach ahead of Thursday's Europa League clash against Olympiacos.

He told reporters: “I expected to come back because I want to always be with the biggest team and I am really happy to be at Arsenal all the time.

“When I was on loan, all the time I was thinking I need to get back to Arsenal to be in the squad, to play like I do now.

“That’s why I worked really hard in Besiktas and I built myself there to come back stronger.

“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’.

“He was helping me so much to understand the way he wanted us to play and this is what helped me a lot.


“After the Community Shield against Liverpool, he came and sat down with me and he just gave me everything I’ve done, with the pre-season and the game against Liverpool. It was really good for me to start the season with.”

Elneny's contract expires in 2022 and he must earn a new deal during a stringent cost-cutting process at the Emirates.

But he has vowed to sign on the dotted line if asked to do so.

The Egyptian stated: "Of course, for me I am always loyal to Arsenal.

"And if Arsenal say to me, ‘Sign a new contract’, of course I would be happy to do this."

Arteta is out for revenge after Olympiacos downed the Gunners in last year's Europa League knockouts, but it is Arsenal who hold a 3-1 advantage before Thursday's second leg.

I'm extremely happy with Elneny because he works really really hard every day.

A late goal by Elneny rounded off a strong night in Athens a week ago and the manager praised his player's efforts.

He noted: "I'm extremely happy with him because he works really really hard every day, he's been practising in training with [Steve] Round quite a lot, his range shots.

"He totally deserved it. When you practice, at the end you get rewards and I'm happy that Mo did that."

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