Mohamed Elneny has extended his stay at Arsenal by at least another year. The Egyptian midfielder, who is out for the season after undergoing knee surgery, is the club’s longest-serving senior player, counting from first team debut. Granit Xhaka, Rob Holding, then Gabriel Martinelli are next.
Arsenal did not activate the option in Elneny’s current contract. Instead, he reportedly signed a new deal on reduced wages. It makes sense. The club is doing the right thing and allowing him to continue his treatment and rehabilitation at the club facilities as part of the team. Arsenal did something similar with Santi Cazorla and other players who’ve suffered serious injuries in the final year of their contract. In return, Elneny is doing the club a solid and taking a paycut.
Mohamed Elneny spoke to Arsenal.com for the announcement post.
I’m so happy, I love this club and our supporters so much and I’ll give everything to help us be the best we can be, every day I’m here...It makes me so proud to have represented this amazing club since 2016. The spirit and togetherness we have in our squad right now is so positive and I’m so happy I have extended my contract.
Said Mikel Arteta in early February, suggesting that Elneny would remain at the club:
Our way of treating people, our way of living together and what we expect from people is to give the maximum. When it’s the other way around and things become difficult, I think the club has to behave in the right way. We have some really good examples and we have to continue to do that.
It’s a nice reminder that even in the ruthless, results-driven football world that there is humanity and goodness. Elneny is beloved in the locker room and on the training ground, always smiling, and content with his place at the club, so keeping him around was likely an easy decision.
Everybody likes to think that their club is different. With the new contract, Arsenal showed that the values they tout are more than just pretty-sounding words and window dressing. In the grand scheme of things, extending Mohamed Elneny isn’t some transcendent indicator of moral goodness. It’s comparatively small potatoes, but it’s the right thing to do. Arsenal took care of a good guy. We can be happy about that.