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Elneny: Egypt star reveals when he could leave Arsenal

10:29 PM IST 09/02/22
Mohamed Elneny
The midfielder believes he has what it takes to be a Gunners first-teamer, but if he fails then he will exit the club

Egypt and Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny has explained the condition that would force him to leave the Premier League side. 

The 29-year-old midfielder has stated he would strongly consider leaving the North London club should he fall far behind the pecking order.

"I have a dream and I will not give it up," Elneny said in an interview with Ahmed Hossam Mido.

"This question is also asked by people very close to me. My answer is: 'I have a dream and I will achieve it, I see myself able to be in the starting 11, but if I saw that the difference between me and my colleagues in Arsenal was too big, I would leave immediately, I'm not stubborn'." 

Elneny also explained the factors that made him leave for Besiktas on loan in the 2019/20 season and what made him stay longer with Arsenal thereafter, despite the fact he had been told he was not in the manager's plans.

"When [Unai] Emery was the coach, I left for Besiktas due to the feeling that the coach wouldn't give me a chance," he added.

"After my loan to Besiktas, Arsenal contacted me with very clear words that I was out of [Mikel] Arteta's plans, I agreed with my agent on that, but I had to start training with Arsenal until I found a new club. 

"After a while, I played many friendly games and scored a goal from the pitch's centre, Arteta began to rethink. I scored in the next friendly game, another goal, then the Liverpool game came and we won the title [the Community Shield]. Arteta told me, 'You were out of my squad, but now you are one of the important players for me'.

"I talked to the club before the season and in January about my position in the squad and if I have to leave the club but Arteta rejected that." 

The midfielder was part of the Egypt team that reached the final of the Africa Cup of Nations and he explained why he did not take penalties. 

"While shooting, I was not standing with my colleagues, I was standing behind, I felt like I would get a heart attack at that time," he said. 

"I shot penalties very well, but I cannot accept the feeling of causing a loss to my national team, I think if I missed a penalty at that time, I would die.

"I felt that I could miss the penalty, and then dream of millions destroyed. I shot penalties twice with Arsenal, and I missed them, and even though my team won in the two matches, I felt like I would die! Just imagine that it happened with the national team? Without any exaggeration, I would die!" 

The Pharaohs were beaten in the shootout by Senegal, who lifted their maiden Afcon title.