Transfer blunder could see Arsenal take £21m hit on 29-year-old [opinion]

Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny by joshjdss, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Mohamed Elneny looked to be on his way out of Arsenal this summer when Galatasaray made an approach to sign him, but their bid was rejected by the Gunners as they’re keen to keep the 29-year-old for another season.

Elneny is out of contract at the end of the campaign, however, so he could leave Arsenal on a free transfer if his deal isn’t extended. Arsenal would be taking a £21m hit if Elneny left for no transfer fee, so they have a decision to make whether to cash in early or to convince him to extend his contract.

Arsenal paid £7.4m to sign Elneny from FC Basel in January 2016 and he’s gone on to make 132 appearances in all competitions, scoring five goals with eight assists. The Egyptian international hasn’t been a regular for most of his time in North London, but he did feature more heavily last season – 41 appearances across the board.

Whether that’s enough to convince Elneny to stay beyond next summer remains to be seen, however, so Arsenal would be forced to cash in if they wanted to make some money back. The 29-year-old has earned £52k-per-week/£2.7m-a-year in wages, taking home a total of £14m since his 2016-arrivel, so there is a lot of money to recoup.

It looks unlikely Arsenal will see much of that, so it’s another example of their poor decision-making in the transfer market. David Luiz was released and William Saliba loaned out while Ben White and Takehiro Tomiyasu set the North London club back nearly £70m alone.

Nevertheless, the Gunners feel Elneny has a use in the squad, though he’s amassed only 44 minutes of Premier League football this season, so it could transpire that he hardly features for Arsenal and leaves for nothing in June 2022. That would be a disaster given Gala put money up for him.