Arsenal to dump international star in smart piece of January business

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner 19 Nov 2021 19:02 CET 3 min read
Mikel Arteta applauds Arsenal fans at end of 2020/21 season

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta and sporting director Edu will continue to mould the Gunners’ squad in their image during the January transfer window.

In the past, they have taken the nuclear option to allow players to depart for nothing rather than have them cluttering up the locker room and absorbing massive salaries.

Mesut Ozil is the highest-profile example of Arsenal’s desire to purge their deadwood, with the former Germany international moving to Fenerbahce last January on a free transfer. It proved a smart move on the part of the Gunners. Ozil was frozen out at the Emirates Stadium and is now struggling to impose himself in the Super Lig.

Having seen their work pay off with Ozil, Arteta and Edu are now masterminding the departure of another fringe element to their squad according to reports.

Arsenal to release Elneny

Turkish outlet FotoMac reports that Arsenal are now planning to offload Egypt international midfielder Mohamed Elneny in much the same style as they did with Ozil. Fenerbahce will not be his destination, however. Instead, Galatasaray want the Egypt midfielder.

With the transfer market stagnant because of the financial fallout of the Covid-19 crisis, offloading high earners for a fee is proving difficult for many clubs. Arsenal, though, have been shrewd enough to cut their losses.

In Elneny’s case, this makes especially good business.

Elneny on Arsenal contract extension and being dubbed the ‘Egyptian Messi’

Although he enjoyed some solid performances last season, the 29-year-old has featured only for 48 minutes in the Premier League this season, 45 of which came in the 5-0 loss to Manchester City.

Now Elneny has fallen behind the likes of Martin Odegaard, Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey and newcomer Albert Sambi Lokonga in Arteta’s midfield plans.

Furthermore, he is out of contract at the end of the season and will likely leave for nothing at that point.

Finally, Elneny is liable to be called up to the Egypt squad for the Africa Cup of Nations, meaning that he will not even be available for a raft of matches in the second half of the season.

For Arsenal, cutting ties with Elneny a matter of months early represents excellent business.