After yesterday’s opening day win against Fulham, Mikel Arteta labelled Mohamed Elneny’s performance ‘phenomenal’; comments that suggest the Egypt international might have a role to play at Arsenal this season.
Returning from a year on loan with Besiktas, it was expected the Gunners would sell the midfielder as they look to raise funds for a squad rebuild, but as things stand it’s looking far more likely that others, including Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi, will make way first.
Whatever happens in the final weeks of the transfer window, Elneny says he’s grateful to the boss, a former teammate, for the opportunity to showcase his talent in Arsenal colours.
“I feel really happy and I have to thank Mikel Arteta for giving me a chance to play,” Elneny told Arsenal Digital.
“I know it’s not easy to be on loan and come back to Arsenal and I’m really happy because I made everyone feel like I was not away from the team. This makes me really happy and I have to thank Mikel Arteta because he helped me a lot to feel like this.
“He speaks to me always, saying things like ‘we need you on the team’ and he is always giving me good feedback and always pushing me to get the best from me. I’m really happy to be here.
“I’ll give 100 per cent every day in the training and if they give me a chance to play, I will always give 100 per cent. Because it’s the best for me, to play always in regular games and to give 100 per cent to the team, to help the team to win and make sure that we’re going to build a team to be strong in the Premier League.”
Having been at the club since January 2016, Elneny is one of the club’s longer-serving members of staff. Having experienced the tail-end of Wenger’s time in charge and the start of Unai Emery’s ill-fated spell, the Eygptian is well-placed to speak about the changes he’s seen on his return.
“We feel like we are more aggressive, like everyone just wants to give 100 per cent,” he explained.
“This was what we missed in Arsenal, because at Arsenal we always loved to play football but we didn’t care [enough] about giving 100 per cent. But now we can see that everyone does, even the kit man!
“Everyone has to give 100 per cent because this is a great club and everyone has to work really hard to push this club to win the Premier League, to win everything, because we have quality players, we have the facilities, we have the family. Everyone is great in this club.”