Elneny: I couldn’t believe the Arsenal negotiations
Egypt international Mohamed Elneny spoke about Al Ahly releasing him, moving to Arsenal, and the Egyptian national team in an interview with Abu Dhabi Sports.
The 24-year-old is considered one of the best Egyptian players to play abroad, after joining Arsenal in January 2015, but it all started when African giants Al Ahly released him when he was only 15-year-old.
It wasn’t easy for Elneny or his father to be released from the Red Devils, as Elneny says that his father was shocked when he knew, but he promised him to make him proud and didn’t break his promise.
“I have started playing football when I was 3-year-old in my house with my father. I didn’t do anything except playing football,” Elneny told Abu Dhabi Sports.
“I loved playing in the streets and going with my father to his football trainings.
“When I was 15 Al Ahly released me. I didn’t sit on the bench during the ten years I spent there except for a very short time.
“I didn’t tell my father about it for four days and when I did he was shocked, but then I promised him to make him proud.
The former Basel midfielder then spoke about his time at Egypt’s Arab contractors, saying that his first season there was difficult for him.
“I didn’t play during my first season with Arab contractors and I thought about leaving the club and that was the hardest time of my life,” he added.
“At that time, I didn’t know what will happen to me, should I join a new club ?, will I play ?, but then I started playing with Arab Contractors.
Elneny joined Arsenal in a surprise move in 2015 when the Arsenal officials were scouting Fabian Schär but signed the Egyptian instead after he caught their eyes and Elneny admits that he didn’t believe the negotiations between the English side and Basel.
Elneny has made 37 appearances for the Gunners since joining them, scoring only once against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League and assisted three times.
“I couldn’t believe the Arsenal negotiations. A club like Arsenal wants me ? that’s a really big dream,” he added.
“I felt like I should take a big step before joining a top club like Arsenal, but then Arsenal wanted me. I couldn’t believe it.
“Everyone helped me and trusted me. I have so many dreams to achieve with Arsenal.
Elneny then concluded by speaking about the Egyptian national team, saying that the current team is one of the best generations in Egyptian football.
“I grabbed the chance of playing with the Egyptian national team. I will always do my best for Egypt,” Elneny said.
“The Egyptian national team is the greatest. We are one of the best generations to ever grace the Egyptian football.
“God willing, we will qualify for the World Cup,” Elneny concluded.
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