Agent of Arsenal’s Elneny denies rift with Egypt coach

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Saturday 27 Mar 2021

Egypt coach El-Badry depended on four central midfielders through Kenya game on Thursday, keeping Arsenal player Mohamed Elneny on the bench

Olympiaco's Mohamed Camara, right, duels for the ball with Arsenal's Mohamed Elneny during the Europa League, round of 16, second leg soccer match between Arsenal and Olympiacos at the Emirates Stadium, in London, Thursday, March 18, 2021. AP

Agent of Egypt’s midfielder Mohamed Elneny has denied reports claiming there is a rift between the Arsenal player and the Pharaohs coach Hossam El-Badry after being left out of the game against Kenya last Thursday.

Egypt secured passage to next year's African Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon after settling for a 1-1 away draw to Kenya in their penultimate qualifier. El-Badry used four central midfielders during the game while Elneny kept warming the bench.

Some reports in Egyptian media claimed that the Gunners’ player was asked to warm up at the break but he declined, but these claims were refuted by his agent Alaa Nazmy.

“All news about Elneny’s refusal to warm up ahead of Kenya match are just false rumors and the evidence is that the player is still in the national team camp.” Nazmy told Egyptian TV  programme in the early hours of Saturday.

Egypt are now on top of Group G with nine points, on level with Comoros and five points clear of Kenya with one match remaining in the qualifiers. Egypt to end their qualifying campaign at home against Comoros on Monday.

The 28-year old Elneny, who netted six goals in 78 international appearances, has been among the list of six foreign-based players called by Pharaohs’ coach El-Badry for the two qualifiers.

Elneny has fell down the pecking order under coach El-Badry as he was only played twice in the qualifiers; featuring as a substitute in the 1-1 draw in the opening game against Kenya, before playing the full 90 minutes in the 1-0 win against Togo last November.

Egypt, the Nations Cup's record winners with seven titles under their belt, will make a record-extending 25th appearance at the biennial tournament.

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