Mikel Arteta says he convinced Mohamed Elneny to stay in January, and they’ll discuss the player’s future at the end of the season.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND: Mohamed Elneny of Arsenal looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on December 02, 2021. (Photo by Alex Livesey / Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND: Mohamed Elneny of Arsenal looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on December 02, 2021. (Photo by Alex Livesey / Getty Images)

Speaking to his press conference ahead of Arsenal’s match against Manchester United on Saturday, Mikel Arteta reflected on his push to keep Mohamed Elneny around in the January transfer window.

“It was more in January than in the summer and I think he understood that with the squad we had I could not let another player leave,” Arteta said.

“It’s a tough balance because, in the end, they are in a period of their career where they are looking to extend their football lives but at the same time, I thought he could be important for the team in the last part of the season.

“We’re going to have a conversation at the end of the season (about his future). I’m really happy with him, that’s all I can say.”

Fabrizio Romano recently reported that Elneny is expected to leave Arsenal this summer, with no talks to extend his contract as of now.

The midfielder’s current deal will expire in June, leaving him open to a free transfer elsewhere.

Football.London reported in February that Elneny was being targeted by several European clubs following his performances for Egypt at the Africa Cup of Nations. He’s previously drawn approaches from Fenerbahce and Besiktas.

In January, Elneny was drawing interest from Saudi Arabia for a potential free transfer in the summer, but it seems he’s now getting calls from Europe as well.

Egypt's midfielder Mohamed Elneny gives a thumbs up to Mohamed Salah during a training session at an annex of the Olembe stadium in Yaounde on February 5, 2022. (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP via Getty Images)
Egypt’s midfielder Mohamed Elneny gives a thumbs up to Mohamed Salah during a training session at an annex of the Olembe stadium in Yaounde on February 5, 2022. (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP via Getty Images)

But perhaps the midfielder’s story with Arsenal isn’t quite over yet. He worked his way back into the team this week, for the first time since January 1st, and for years now he’s accepted a squad role at Arsenal without complaint.

If Arteta can convince Elneny to stick around, that could help provide security in the club’s midfield options so they can focus on adding quality instead of quantity.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.