1 PL app in 5 months, contract up in 2022 – midfielder could leave Arsenal in January [Opinion]

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

Mohamed Elneny has an uncertain future at Arsenal as he’s out of contract in 2022 and has struggled for playing time this season. The 29-year-old finds himself low down the pecking order under Mikel Arteta and isn’t close to putting pen to paper on an extension, so it’s hard to see him staying at the Emirates Stadium beyond this campaign.

The Egyptian international joined Arsenal from FC Basel in January 2016 and has gone on to make 132 appearances in all competitions, scoring five goals with eight assists. Elneny’s future in North London looked over when he was loaned to Besiktas (September 2019 – August 2020), but he ended up playing 41 times back at Arsenal last season.

This campaign has been a different story, however. Elneny has made just two appearances across the board, amassing a meagre 44 minutes of Premier League football. The 29-year-old has one league appearance to his name since May of last season, as Arteta has preferred Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka and Sambi Lokonga in the engine room.

Fotomac (h/t Sport Witness) said days ago that Elneny could be offloaded in January, but he might be retained as backup until the campaign is over – Elneny has made the matchday squad in Arsenal’s last three league games. The winter transfer window is short and clubs are often reluctant to sell mid-season, so the Gunners might be resigned to losing the Egyptian for free come June. If they want to get some of their money back, a mid-season sale is essential.

There were suggestions contract talks would commence ahead of the 2021/22 season, but there’s been no progress made and it doesn’t seem Arsenal need him anymore.

Summary

Elneny has never been a regular for a long period of time at Arsenal, leading to speculation about his future almost every season, but this could really be the end.