Elneny: ‘I don’t have a problem if I start or not’

Date published: Saturday 10th December 2016 1:30

Mohamed Elneny: Happy at Arsenal

Mohamed Elneny says he is not bothered whether he plays or not, he is just “happy” to be at a club like Arsenal.

The Egypt midfielder, who was signed by Arsene Wenger from Basel in January 2016, has made five Premier League starts this campaign.

And the 24-year-old has played in midfield with Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey, Granit Xhaka and Francis Coquelin – a fact which does not bother Elneny.

“I honestly love the competition for places because it helps me improve as a player on a personal level,” he told the official Arsenal programme.

“When you look at the players who compete for these places, you see they are all big names and very good players. This motivates me to fight to be number one in that position.

“This is an honest competition and all players fight for places in the first team. This applies to me also, especially when you play for a big club like Arsenal. I want to do my best to be in the starting line-up and fight for my place.”

The Egypt international, who reportedly cost the Gunners in excess of £10million has made nine appearances in the Premier League, but he is quite happy just to be competing for a starting spot.

“I don’t have a problem if I start or not. I’m always focused and ready to play, I listen to the manager and I do my best during training. Whether I play or not is up to the boss but I am always focused and ready to play. I don’t want to disappoint when I am selected to play,” he added.

“We’re professional players and it doesn’t matter who you play alongside. You can’t say I don’t know how to play with a certain player, for example. We can adapt to who we are playing alongside. We are all competition to be in the team and we have to make use of the opportunities when they come.

Mohamed Elneny, Arsenal

“I don’t really have any preference [positionally]. It all depends on what the boss asks me to do, so I can’t complain really. I do whatever he wants me to. I will not say not or not do something he wants me to do. I can play in any position in the middle of the pitch, and I think that’s one of the things that I’m good at.

“I can defend, run box-to-box and play in a more attacking role.

“I’m very happy to play for Arsenal. I think I’m very lucky not only to be at this club but also because everyone here is so nice and we are like a big family. I never felt like I was a newcomer. It feels like I have been here among the players for a long time.

“On the pitch, I think I’m doing well and I always try to improve. I’m happy to be part of the team and I think people around me including the fans can see I’m improving.

“I think the past 11 months have been the best of my life and hopefully I will keep getting better and achieve big things with Arsenal.”

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