Mohamed Elneny could earn a new contract if Arsenal’s longest-serving player helps them to a top-four finish.
Elneny’s performances in back-to-back wins against Chelsea and Manchester United have given the Gunners’ Egyptian midfielder hope of a new deal when his existing one expires in June. The 29-year-old helped to hammer another nail in the coffin of United’s top-four hopes and restore Arsenal to the box seat for Champions League football next season.
It looks as if the race will be settled by the north London derby at Tottenham on May 12, with Elneny’s axis with Granit Xhaka in front of the back four emerging as an unlikely key influence. After three consecutive defeats, six points and seven goals in the last week could be a turning point in Arsenal’s rollercoaster season, and he said: “In the three games we lost, we dominated them all and deserved to win.
“The boss just said that we have to believe in what we do and don’t change anything because we were playing well, even though we were losing. After the Chelsea game, we saw that the way we believed in each other helps us to win.
“I gave everything in training to be in the starting XI every game – I got my chance at Chelsea, I think I did well and, most important, we won the last two games. It’s been a long wait for me, but you have to believe and 100 per cent I want to get Arsenal into the top four.
“This is my club for the last six years. They are my family and I will give everything to them until the last minute. I always love a challenge – I don’t decide who plays, but I keep going in training to show how good I am and to make him (manager Mikel Arteta) play me.
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“And if Arsenal say, ‘We want you’ I don’t think about leaving. It’s my family for six years, I love this club. The contract and stuff, I’m just waiting for the club to decide what they want.”
Elneny, denied glory at the Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup qualification in penalty shoot-outs against Senegal earlier this year, has survived a huge turnover in the Gunners squad since he was signed by Arsene Wenger for £5million from Basel in January 2016.
He added: “Of course I have noticed the changes, but we have improved and we are getting stronger and stronger. We believe in our team and the manager and the club. We trust the process they have made for the team and the most important thing is we keep going to the end.”