Mikel Arteta believes Mohamed Elneny is responding to the challenges he’s faced at Arsenal and says he’s pleased at how the Egyptian midfielder has performed this season.
The 28-year-old received widespread praise from supporters and pundits after his domineering performance in midfield for the Gunners as they beat Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Elneny spent last season on loan at Turkish side Besiktas and was expected to be one of several players heading for the exit door when he returned to the club this summer.
Mohamed Elneny’s form has proved Mikel Arteta right
(Image: Getty Images)
However, the former Basel player has worked his way into the Arsenal starting line-up on several occasions this season, regularly impressing with his excellent distribution and high-energy style throughout every 90 minutes he plays.
“I think he’s responding really well to all the challenges we’re putting in front of him,” said Arteta.
“He had a big one when he came back from his loan spell to show what he can bring to the squad.
“I think everybody’s seen what he can do. I’m really pleased with his performances and what he can bring to the team.”
Elneny signed a long-term contract with Arsenal in March 2018 which runs until the summer of 2022 and while there is no immediacy in offering him an extension, Arteta was asked whether he could be rewarded his performances with a new deal.
“Let’s go step by step please! What I can say is that I’m really pleased with the player and hopefully he can continue like that and perform really well all season.”
Having been told he was surplus to requirements at Arsenal by former head coach Unai Emery, the improvement in Elneny’s form has been linked with Arteta’s tactical awareness which helps each player maximise their potential.
“Arteta is very good at studying the opposition,” Elneny told beIN Sports.
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