Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny has signed a new deal with the Premier League club.

The Egypt international signed for the Gunners in January 2016 from FC Basel, making his debut in an FA Cup win over Burnley.

He has since played 147 games for the Gunners, scoring five goals as well as recording 10 assists. Arsenal have not confirmed the length of Elneny's contract.

Speaking to Arsenal Media, Elneny said: "I love this club and I feel like part of this family.

"I want to continue at this amazing club and amazing family and I'm very happy and very excited for the future."

Arsenal narrowly missed out on fourth place and Champions League qualification on the final day of the Premier League season, and Elneny was in and out of the side during the campaign, partly due to his participation in Egypt's run to the Africa Cup of Nations final.

The 29-year-old played 14 league games, eight of which were starts, and no Arsenal player had a better passing accuracy percentage in league games than his 93.45.

Elneny spent time away from Arsenal in the 2019-20 season, when he joined Besiktas on loan, and his contract was due to expire at the end of June.

Mikel Arteta said on Sunday following Arsenal's 5-1 win over Everton that the futures of Elneny, Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette (the other two players out of contract) had been decided, and it was simply a matter of communicating the news.

"Mo is a really important part of the team," Arteta told Arsenal Media following confirmation of Elneny's new deal. 

"He brings endless energy, enthusiasm and commitment to the team and is loved by everyone.

"He's an important player for us on and off the pitch, a real role model to our younger players and I'm delighted he's staying."

Mikel Arteta never doubted he had what it would take to lead Arsenal after the Arsene Wenger dynasty – even if he was kept waiting for the top job.

The Arsenal manager paused only briefly to consider the ramifications of taking over a team built by Wenger and developed in the Frenchman's fashion.

It was Arteta's fearlessness regarding the possibility of failure that persuaded him to take up the Gunners post in December 2019, a full 18 months after he came close to being Wenger's immediate successor.

The Unai Emery era separated his Arsenal reign from Wenger's 22-year spell in charge, and Arteta has gradually built up the north London giants to the point where a return to the Champions League is tantalisingly close. A long-term plan to revive the glory years is showing progress.

Asked whether the prospect of having to shape a club previously led for so long by one man crossed his mind, Arteta said: "It did, but it was tiny in comparison with the excitement and the opportunity that I saw to join this club, and try to do what we all want to do, which was to take the club where Arsene took it at the highest level.

"That desire was much bigger than the worries of failing."

Arteta has now been at the helm for almost two and a half seasons, and Arsenal, who face Manchester United on Saturday, are battling for a top-four Premier League finish.

United have laboured to move on from the Alex Ferguson era, and Arsenal have had their own struggles since Frenchman Wenger's heyday, with their decline beginning while he remained in post.

They last played in the Champions League in 2016-17, so to return there would be a feather in Arteta's cap.

Arteta was widely tipped to succeed Wenger in 2018, before Emery, now with surprise Champions League semi-finalists Villarreal, was surprisingly given the job.

"It was close, but things happen for a reason and it probably was too soon," Arteta told a news conference. "People made decisions, and they made a different decision."

Arsenal sit fifth, behind Tottenham on goal difference and three points ahead of a United side who have played one more game.

They are rebuilding impressively, albeit with a few bumps in the road along the way.

"The expectation this club is going to have is always to be the best, because we're going to compare all the time to the beautiful moments that we lived together here," Arteta, a former Arsenal midfielder and captain, said.

"What I'm saying is: do I really enjoy what I'm doing and how I'm doing it? Yes, because I know what we can do, what our potential is and where we want to take it.

"The rest is just fear because you're going to fail because you are looking there.

"You need to understand when you can get there and especially how you're going to do it. The 'how' is clear. It's probably a matter of time.

"But if you start to go there and try to find the 'how' when you don't have the tools to do it, I think you're going to struggle."

Arsenal could look to offload Nicolas Pepe in the January transfer window.

The 26-year-old has not lived up to his billing after being signed in 2019.

Pepe has scored once in nine appearances for the Gunners this season.

 

TOP STORY – MILAN SET FOR JANUARY PEPE SWOOP

Italian giants Milan are interested in signing Arsenal's Ivorian winger Nicolas Pepe, claims Il Milanista.

Pepe has more than two years to run on his Gunners deal, having joined on a five-year contract from Lille in 2019 for a club-record fee of £72 million (€79m).

Arsenal may be willing to let Pepe go for a little as £25m in January.

ROUND-UP 

- Chelsea's Spanish full-back Cesar Azpilicueta is on Barcelona's transfer radar, according to SPORT. The 32-year-old's contract expires at the end of this season.

- Tottenham have joined Inter in having an interest in signing Bayern Munich midfielder Corentin Tolisso, claims Kicker. Tolisso is out of contract at the end of this season.

- Fabrizio Romano reports that talks between Gavi and Barcelona on a five-year contract extension are progressing amid interest in the Spanish teenager from Chelsea.

- Jose Mourinho's Roma are considering a move to sign Atletico Madrid's Mexico international midfielder Hector Herrera in January, claims Calciomercato. Atletico are willing to cash in on Herrera, who is out of contract in mid-2022.

- Manchester City target Theo Hernandez is close to completing a contract renewal with Milan, according to Rudy Galetti. The Rossoneri have reached an agreement with him until 2026.

- FotoMac claims Mohamed Elneny's agent has reached an agreement with Arsenal for the Egyptian to leave in January. He was previously linked with Galatasaray.

- Lens midfielder Seko Fofana has been added to Newcastle United's shortlist of transfer targets, claims Foot Mercato.

Arsenal returned to winning ways as goals from Mohamed Elneny and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sealed a comfortable 2-0 win over Newcastle United on Sunday. 

The Gunners had picked up just one point from their previous two Premier League games against Everton and Fulham before they suffered a 2-1 defeat to Villarreal in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday. 

However, they sealed all three points at St James' Park thanks to Elneny's early goal and Aubameyang's second-half finish, the fifth consecutive game in which the Gabon international has scored against the Magpies. 

The result lifted Arsenal up to ninth, while Newcastle finished with 10 men after substitute Fabian Schar's rash lunge on fellow Gabriel Martinelli.

Steve Bruce's side remain 17th, nine points clear of the relegation zone with four games remaining.

Arsenal wasted little time stamping their authority on the game, opening the scoring after just five minutes through Elneny's first Premier League goal in his 66th appearance in the competition.

Aubameyang horribly miss-kicked Hector Bellerin's right-wing cross but the ball fell fortuitously to Elneny, who struck a half-volley past Martin Dubravka from 18 yards.

Mat Ryan – one of nine changes from the defeat to Villarreal – tipped over Allan Saint-Maximin's deflected effort soon after, while Dubravka pawed away Granit Xhaka's long-range drive at the other end.

Miguel Almiron denied Elneny a second shortly before the half-hour, clearing the Egyptian's header from a corner off the line.

Arsenal doubled their advantage in the 66th minute when Aubameyang showed superb athleticism to volley home Martinelli's left-wing cross inside the six-yard box. 

Any faint hopes the hosts had of setting up a grandstand finale were dashed in the 90th minute when Schar saw red, as Bruce's men fell to just a second defeat in their past nine Premier League games.
 

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