Heading into Arsenal’s clash with Aston Villa at the weekend, there was surely little question that Mohamed Elneny had been a revelation for Mikel Arteta’s side so far this season.
Elneny appeared to face an uncertain future heading into this campaign. He had been out on loan last term. And The Telegraph reported during the summer that he was one of the players up for sale.
But he ultimately stayed. And he has proved to be an outstanding performer for the Gunners. His recent display at Manchester United appeared to represent the completion of his turnaround from his time at the Emirates.
Shortly after that win, reports emerged suggesting that Arsenal were planning to discuss a new contract with the Egyptian.
The 28-year-old’s current deal expires in 2022. And the Daily Mail reported last week that he is in line for an extension.
Unfortunately for Arsenal fans, a lot of the optimism about Arteta’s men that had built up simply evaporated in 90 minutes at the weekend in their 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa.
And with that display, Arsenal were perhaps reminded of the gamble that they may be taking should they decide to hand Elneny a new contract.
Elneny’s struggles should send warning signs
Like many of his teammates, Elneny had a poor game at the Emirates. It was the kind of display that potentially reminded supporters as to why few seemed to be too disappointed when he was loaned out.
Perhaps some – including this particular writer – got carried away by Elneny’s start to the season.
On the other hand, one bad display should not take away from how well he has played.
But if Elneny – who earns £50,000-a-week, according to Spotrac – signs a two-year deal for example, he will be nearly 32 by the time that contract expires. By that stage, you would assume that his best days may be behind him.
In truth, it should be no surprise if Elneny responds superbly after the international break. And perhaps, a new contract may prove an inspired decision.
But Arsenal were arguably shown why they do not need to make a rash decision on Elneny’s future off the back of one superb run of form.