Mesut Özil surprised Mohamed Elneny by acting humble and respectful at Arsenal, with the Egyptian midfielder expecting arrogance following Özil’s time at Real Madrid.
When Mohamed Elneny joined Arsenal from FC Basel in 2016, he already knew the club’s star playmaker, Mesut Özil. It was hard not to, given the German’s career to that point.
Özil played in Germany, Spain and England, winning trophies in all three countries. He was a World Cup winner with a huge reputation for providing assists. Elneny thought the midfielder’s time with Real Madrid would have inflated his ego.
“However, he is so humble and respectful. He never saw himself above the club. There are footballers playing at far smaller clubs who have got a far bigger ego.
“Mesut surprised me and my team-mates at Arsenal, everyone has respect for him.”
It’s fair to say we’ve seen that bearing fruit over the last few years. Whilst the likes of Alexis Sanchez bought into their own hype and chased their next big moves, Özil committed his future to Arsenal.
Things haven’t all gone according to plan since then. Unai Emery’s clash with the 31-year-old often overshadowed a poor 18 months in charge. Freddie Ljungberg also made headlines disciplining the player after the Manchester City clash.
All the same, Elneny’s is certainly suggesting the problems don’t come from a place of arrogance. Perhaps Özil just wants to see his club achieve more than they have been.