Egypt’s Elneny confirms Arsenal exit with emotional farewell

Mahmoud Elassal , Friday 17 May 2024

Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny, who is Arsenal's current longest-serving player, has officially announced his departure from the club this summer after eight-and-a-half years.

Elneny
Arsenal s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny

 

The 31-year-old Elneny has been a part of the north London team since 2016 but will bid a final farewell to the Gunners as his contract expires at the end of the season.

In a heartfelt video shared on his official X account, Elneny addressed Arsenal fans on Friday, saying, "Gooners, I'm here today to send you a message, to say goodbye and thank you for everything you've done for me. The love, the support, and the kindness. I'm really going to miss you so much, and you'll always be in my heart."

He further expressed his love for the fans and their significance in his life, stating, "I wanted to say how much I love you and how much you mean to me. I will never forget the way you supported me. I'm looking forward to seeing you on Sunday at the Emirates to say goodbye in person. See you then."

Elneny joined Arsenal from Swiss side FC Basel in January 2016 for a fee of £5 million, becoming a popular figure at the Emirates Stadium.

Despite struggling with injuries in recent seasons, he was granted a one-year contract extension last February after making eight appearances during the 2022/23 campaign.

Under Mikel Arteta's leadership this season, Elneny has featured only six times for Arsenal's title-chasing squad, making three substitute appearances in the Premier League. His last appearance dates back to February 24, when he came late from the bench in the 4-1 home victory against Newcastle.

The Egyptian midfielder's sole start this season was in December in the Champions League, playing 62 minutes as part of a heavily rotated Arsenal side that secured a 1-1 draw against PSV Eindhoven, having already secured progression to the knockout stages.

In an interview with the Evening Standard in October 2023, the former Basel and Besiktas midfielder expressed his intention to continue playing until the age of 36 or 37.

"I want to finish my career when I'm 37 or 36, so I still have five or six years left to go," Elneny stated.

It remains unclear whether the Egyptian star will join another team during the summer transfer window or announce his retirement and pursue a career in coaching.

Elneny previously shared his aspiration to become a coach in the Premier League.

"Being a coach is more difficult than being a player," he said at the 12th Sharjah Ramadan Majlis event in April 2023, as quoted by UAE news agency WAM.

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