Mikel Arteta admits he’s been impressed by Mohamed Elneny’s performances this season but made clear it’s too early for talk of a contract extension.
Many expected the Egypt international to leave Arsenal when he returned from a year-long spell at Besiktas but after impressing the boss in training he was handed a chance to challenge for a regular starting berth.
From the moment he scored from the halfway line in a pre-season friendly with MK Dons, he’s not looked back.
After the 28-year-old was lauded for his efforts in the 1-0 win over Manchester United, Arteta was asked about the way his former teammate has stepped up.
“I think he is responding really well to all the challenges we are putting in front of him,” said the boss.
“He had a big one when he came back from his loan spell to show what he could bring to the squad and I think everyone has seen what he can do, so I am really pleased with his performances and what he brings to the team.”
Elneny is under contract at the Emirates until July 2022 so there’s no particular rush to nail him down to a new deal, but if he continues to deliver the goods, it’s not out of the question.
Not that Arteta would be drawn on the matter. He said: “Let’s go step by step please!”
“What I can say is that I am really pleased with the player and everything that he is doing and hopefully he can continue like that and perform rally well throughout the season.”