Mohamed Elneny

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Mohamed Elneny
Mohamed Elneny 2018.jpg
Elneny with Egypt at the 2018 FIFA World Cup
Personal information
Full name Mohamed Naser Elsayed Elneny[1]
Date of birth (1992-07-11) 11 July 1992 (age 29)[2]
Place of birth El Mahalla El Kubra, Egypt
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)[3]
Position(s) Defensive midfielder
Club information
Current team
Arsenal
Number 25
Youth career
1997–2008 Al Ahly
2008–2010 Al Mokawloon
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2010–2013 Al Mokawloon 35 (2)
2013Basel (loan) 15 (0)
2013–2016 Basel 76 (5)
2016– Arsenal 70 (1)
2019–2020Beşiktaş (loan) 27 (1)
National team
2009–2011 Egypt U20 7 (2)
2010–2015 Egypt U23 5 (1)
2011– Egypt 79 (7)
Honours
Representing  Egypt
Men's football
Africa Cup of Nations
Runner-up 2017 Gabon
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 28 August 2021 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 29 March 2021 (UTC)

Mohamed Naser Elsayed Elneny (Arabic: محمد ناصر السيد النني‎; born 11 July 1992)[4] is an Egyptian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Arsenal and the Egypt national team.

Elneny began his senior career in the Egyptian Premier League, before moving to Swiss club Basel in January 2013. He won eight honours at Basel, including the Swiss Super League in each of his four seasons. In January 2016, he was transferred to Arsenal.

Elneny competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics for the Egyptian under-23 team, and played for the senior team at the 2017 and 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, as well as the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Club career[edit]

Al Mokawloon[edit]

Elneny played his youth football with Al Ahly. In 2008, he transferred to Al Mokawloon during the 2010–2011 season. Elneny advanced and became a regular in the starting team. Following the Port Said Stadium disaster in early February 2012, the Egyptian Premier League was stopped and all subsequent matches of the 2011–12 Egyptian Premier League were postponed. On 10 March 2012, the Egyptian Football Association announced their decision to cancel the remainder of the season.[5]

Basel[edit]

Elneny with Basel in 2013

FC Basel had been watching Elneny for some time and invited him to their training camp in Estepona from 14 to 24 January 2013. Elneny played his unofficial debut on 18 January 2013 during the friendly match against Steaua București, a 1–1 draw. Elneny was able to impress Basel's trainer Murat Yakin during the training camp and on 29 January 2013, it was announced that he had signed a loan contract with Basel up until the end of June 2013.[6][7][8] Elneny played his official debut for Basel in the 2012–13 Swiss Super League season on 10 February 2013 in the 3–0 home win against Sion as he was substituted in at half time.

At the end of the Swiss Super League season 2012–13 Elneny won the Championship title[9] and was Swiss Cup runner up with Basel.[10] In the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League Basel advanced as far as the semi-finals, there being matched against the reigning UEFA Champions League holders Chelsea, but they were knocked out, losing both home and away ties, beaten 2–5 on aggregate.[11]

During May 2013 Basel announced that they had taken up the option of signing the Egyptian midfielder on a permanent basis. He signed a four-year contract up-until 30 June 2017.[12] He scored his first goal for Basel, the last goal of the match, in the 4–2 home win at the St. Jakob-Park against Zurich on 16 April 2014.[13] At the end of the 2013–14 Super League season Elneny won the league championship with Basel.[14] They also reached the final of the 2013–14 Swiss Cup, but were beaten 2–0 by Zürich after extra time. During the 2013–14 Champions League season Basel reached the group stage and finished the group in third position. Thus they qualified for Europa League knockout phase and here they advanced as far as the quarter-finals. In their season 2013–14 Basel played a total of 68 matches (36 Swiss League fixtures, 6 Swiss Cup, 6 Champions League and 10 Europa League and 10 test matches). Elneny totaled 55 appearances, 32 League, 4 Cup, 6 Champions League and 6 Europa League as well 7 in the test games.[15] He scored just that one goal in the league.

The season 2014–15 was a very successful one for Elneny and FC Basel. The championship was won for the sixth time in a row that season[16] and in the 2014–15 Swiss Cup they reached the final. But for the third season in a row, they finished as runners-up, losing 0–3 to FC Sion in the final. Basel entered the Champions League in the group stage and reached the knockout phase as on 9 December 2014 they managed a 1–1 draw at Anfield against Liverpool.[17] But then Basel then lost to Porto in the Round of 16. Basel played a total of 65 matches (36 Swiss League fixtures, 6 Swiss Cup, 8 Champions League and 15 test matches). Under manager Paulo Sousa Elneny totaled 51 appearances, 29 in the Super League, 6 in the Cup and 7 in the Champions League, as well 9 in test games. He scored 5 goals in these matches.[18]

Despite the fact that Elneny left the club during the winter break, under their new trainer Urs Fischer Basel won the Swiss Super League championship at the end of the 2015–16 Super League season. For Elneny it was the fourth title, for the club it was the seventh in a row and their 19th championship title in total.[19]

Arsenal[edit]

Elneny playing for Arsenal in 2016

On 13 January 2016, after a 3–3 draw against Liverpool, Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger confirmed the signing of Elneny from FC Basel.[20] The following day, the transfer was officially confirmed by the club for an undisclosed fee reported to be somewhere between £5 million and £7.4 million.[21][22] He was assigned the number 35 shirt for Arsenal.[23] He made his debut for the club in a 2–1 win against Burnley in the fourth round of the FA Cup on 30 January,[24] becoming the first Egyptian ever to play for Arsenal.[25] Elneny scored his first Arsenal goal in the Champions League Round of 16 second leg defeat against FC Barcelona, and was later awarded Arsenal's Player of the Month award for March. He also starred in April combining well with Aaron Ramsey, winning the Arsenal's Player of the Month award for a second month. Elneny's only goal won him the goal of the season award for Arsenal.[26] In the 2017–18 season, on 7 December 2017, Elneny scored his first goal at the Emirates Stadium (his second for Arsenal overall) in the Europa League Group Stage against FC BATE Borisov in a match which ended 6–0 to the home side.[27] On 15 February, Elneny again produced a commendable display in the first leg of Arsenal's round of 32 Europa league tie against Östersunds FK. Elneny was subsequently rewarded man of the match for his effort in a 3–0 away victory.[28]

On 26 March 2018, Elneny renewed his contract with Arsenal.[29] On 8 April 2018, Elneny was sent off against Southampton. In a tight game defender Jack Stephens tussled with Jack Wilshere and retaliation from Stephens resulted in referee Andre Marriner giving him a straight red. Wilshere escaped with just a yellow card but in the aftermath, Elneny received a red card after a shove on Cédric Soares, that was his first red card ever in his professional career.[30] Arsenal held on to win 3–2.[31][32]

Loan to Beşiktaş[edit]

On 31 August 2019, Elneny joined Beşiktaş J.K. on a season-long loan deal with an optional buyout clause.[33] On 14 September, Elneny was sent off in his debut in a 3–2 defeat against Gazisehir Gaziantep in the Turkish Super Lig.[34] On 25 July 2020, he scored his first and only goal for the club in a 3-0 victory over Genclerbirligi.[35]

Return to Arsenal[edit]

On 28 August 2020, Elneny was in the starting 11 in the 2020 FA Community Shield, which Arsenal clinched a 5–4 victory over Liverpool in the penalty shootout after the match was 1–1 after 90 minutes.[36] On 1 November 2020, Elneny put in an excellent display at the base of Arsenal's midfield alongside Thomas Partey to render Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba ineffective and earn Arsenal a first league win at Old Trafford since 2006. Elneny was praised by manager, Mikel Arteta after the game. While being away with Egypt during the International break in November 2020, it was confirmed by the Egyptian Football Association that Elneny tested positive for COVID-19 but showed no symptoms.[37] After his return, he scored his first goal of the season in a 4–2 victory over Dundalk in the Europa League on 10 December 2020.[38] His stunning strike outside the box was voted as the runner-up of the Goal of the Month on Arsenal's official website, also later on winning goal of the season.[39] Elneny then scored another screamer versus Olympiacos on 11 March 2021, to keep Arsenal in the tie. On 2 May 2021, Elneny scored his first Premier League goal for Arsenal with a volley from the edge of the box in a game against Newcastle United.[40]

International career[edit]

Elneny helped the National Under-23 team qualify for the 2012 Olympics,[5] where he played in all four games as the team reached the last eight, and were knocked out by Japan.[41]

Elneny made his full international debut in a 2-1 loss against Sierra Leone in September 2011.[42] He scored his first goal for Egypt in a 2-2 draw against Jamaica in a friendly on 4 June 2014.[43]

He was in the Egypt National First Team squad in the Africa Cup of Nations 2017 in Gabon, which came as Runners-up.[44] He also helped the team qualify to the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament in Russia, this is the third time for the Egyptians to participate in the competition after the 1934 and 1990 editions.[45]

Personal life[edit]

Elneny is a devout Muslim.[46]

In July 2019, the body of a man, believed to be a thief attempting to steal electrical cables, was discovered on Elneny's property in El-Mahalla El-Kubra, Egypt. The body was discovered by his father, who immediately reported the incident to the police. It is believed that the man was electrocuted trying to steal the cables.[47]

On 15 May 2021, Arsenal's sponsors Lavazza commenced "urgent talks" with the club after Elneny posted a tweet to his almost 5 million followers, in support of Palestine during the 2021 Israel–Palestine crisis, including an image that seemingly erased Israel from the map of Western Asia, replacing it with pro-Palestinian images. This resulted in a response from the Board of Deputies of British Jews.[48]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of match played 28 August 2021[49]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Continental Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Al Mokawloon Al Arab 2010–11 Egyptian Premier League 21 2 0 0 21 2
2011–12 14 0 0 0 14 0
Total 35 2 0 0 35 2
Basel 2012–13 Swiss Super League 15 0 3 0 8[a] 0 26 0
2013–14 32 1 4 0 12[b] 0 48 1
2014–15 28 2 5 1 8[c] 0 41 3
2015–16 16 2 2 1 9[d] 2 27 5
Total 91 5 14 2 37 2 142 9
Arsenal 2015–16 Premier League 11 0 4 0 0 0 1[c] 1 0 0 16 1
2016–17 14 0 2 0 3 0 5[c] 0 24 0
2017–18 13 0 1 0 5 0 12[a] 1 1[e] 0 32 1
2018–19 8 0 1 0 1 0 7[a] 0 17 0
2020–21 23 1 2 0 3 0 12[a] 2 1[e] 0 41 3
2021–22 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 0
Total 70 1 10 0 13 0 37 4 2 0 132 5
Beşiktaş (loan) 2019–20 Süper Lig 27 1 3 0 6[a] 0 36 1
Career total 223 9 27 2 13 0 80 6 2 0 345 17
  1. ^ a b c d e Appearance(s) in UEFA Europa League
  2. ^ Six appearances in UEFA Champions League, six appearances in UEFA Europa League
  3. ^ a b c Appearance(s) in UEFA Champions League
  4. ^ Four appearances in UEFA Champions League, five appearances and two goals in UEFA Europa League
  5. ^ a b Appearance in FA Community Shield

International[edit]

As of match played 29 March 2021[50]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Egypt 2011 2 0
2012 17 0
2013 8 0
2014 9 2
2015 6 1
2016 7 0
2017 11 2
2018 10 1
2019 8 0
2020 1 1
Total 79 7
As of match played 14 November 2020. Egypt score listed first, score column indicates score after each Elneny goal.[50]
List of international goals scored by Mohamed Elneny
No. Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 4 June 2014 Brisbane Road, London, England  Jamaica 1–0 2–2 Friendly
2 10 October 2014 Botswana National Stadium, Gaborone, Botswana  Botswana 1–0 2–0 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualification
3 17 November 2015 Borg El Arab Stadium, Alexandria, Egypt  Chad 1–0 4–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
4 5 February 2017 Stade d'Angondjé, Libreville, Gabon  Cameroon 1–0 1–2 2017 Africa Cup of Nations
5 28 March 2017 Borg El Arab Stadium, Alexandria, Egypt  Togo 3–0 3–0 Friendly
6 8 September 2018 Borg El Arab Stadium, Alexandria, Egypt  Niger 6–0 6–0 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification

Honours[edit]

Basel[6][9][12]

Arsenal

Egypt

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "Mohamed Elneny: Overview". ESPN. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
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