Why Arsenal should cash in on Mohamed Elneny in January
According to claims from Italian newspaper Gazzetta Dello Sport, AC Milan are plotting a £13 million January swoop for out-of-favour Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny, who is currently out on loan at Besiktas in the Turkish top-flight.
The 27-year-old, who made his move to North London from Swiss heavyweights FC Basel for a fee of £7.4 million back in January 2016, never managed to nail down a starting role under former manager Arsene Wenger and has been lost in the cold since the arrival of Unai Emery last summer.
The 75-cap Egyptian international made only 17 appearances for the Gunners in all competitions in the previous campaign before heading out on loan to Besiktas for the entirety of the 2019-20 season.
Elneny’s time in Turkey hasn’t gone according to the script, though, with the robust central midfielder making only 3 appearances for Besiktas in all competitions thus far, having been sent off on his league debut for the Turkish giants.
That, however, hasn’t stopped AC Milan from pursuing an interest in the Egyptian enforcer. The Rossoneri are apparently preparing a new shortlist of targets under new manager Stefano Pioli, who recently replaced Marco Giampaolo at the helm of affairs following a hit and miss start to the season in the Serie A.
To put things into perspective, interest from AC Milan in Elneny’s services means that Arsenal have a golden opportunity ahead of them to cash in on one of their fringe players.
The 27-year-old is currently on loan but the Gunners would be well within their rights to terminate his stay in Turkey midway through the season and accept a permanent offer for the midfielder if Milan do firm up their interest and put an official offer on the table.
The Egyptian has only played a bit-part role in North London over the past three seasons and, with Emery looking to move on some of the remnants of Wenger’s deadwood in the ranks, Elneny’s sale would certainly hand a sizeable boost to the club’s transfer kitty during the mid-season trading period.
The former Basel star has slipped way down the pecking order in North London following the arrival of new recruits like Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi, Dani Ceballos, as well as the rise of academy prospect Joe Willock, and it is a no-brainer that he doesn’t have a future at Arsenal.
Furthermore, the aforementioned fee of £13 million would see the Gunners land themselves a big profit from the sale of a player who arrived at the club for a rather modest fee three years ago.
Suffice to say, Mohamed Elneny is very much an outcast at Arsenal and it would make perfect sense for the Gunners to accept a permanent offer for his services in January.
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That would, indeed, provide Emery with some valuable cash to bring in reinforcements in other departments, whilst also freeing up some funds to initiate a contract renewal drive for some of the breakout stars.
All in all, Arsenal offloading Mohamed Elneny to AC Milan in January could be an ideal settlement for all parties involved.