X

Besiktas Confirm 'Agreement' for Arsenal's Mohamed Elneny Ahead of Loan Deal

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistAugust 30, 2019

Arsenal's Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny attends a training session at the Baku Olympic Stadium in Baku on May 28, 2019 on the eve of the UEFA Europa League final football match between Chelsea and Arsenal. (Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)
OZAN KOSE/Getty Images

Mohamed Elneny appears on the cusp of leaving Arsenal after Besiktas confirmed an agreement is in place to sign the midfielder on loan.

Besiktas sporting director Ali Naibi offered a positive update about the state of the deal on Friday, per Turkish Football's Emre Sarigul: "We have reached an agreement with Arsenal over the transfer of Mohamed Elneny. He will undergo his medical next; if he passes, we will add him to our squad on a loan transfer."

Sarigul also noted how the Egypt international is expected in Istanbul for "advanced talks" imminently. Both clubs had been discussing the structure of wages for a loan, based on Elneny's £50,000 weekly wage.

The 27-year-old may be well compensated in north London, but he is likely to find playing time harder to come by this season. Arsenal reinforced their midfield this summer by taking Real Madrid playmaker Dani Ceballos on loan.

The Spaniard impressed in his first full start earlier this month, a 2-1 home win over Burnley:

ESPN FC @ESPNFC

Dani Ceballos had quite the debut for Arsenal today. https://t.co/nDqtN95fmL

Aside from Ceballos, the Gunners have also received some solid performances from academy graduate Joe Willock. The 20-year-old has started all three of Arsenal's Premier League games this campaign.

James Benge @jamesbenge

This is quite some performance by Joe Willock so far. His direct running huge in getting Arsenal out of tight areas and building counters. Exceptional performance by the youngster.

Willock isn't the only promising youngster asserting himself in the Gunners' engine room. Matteo Guendouzi, 20, has also been catching the eye at the start of his second season in England's top flight.

Guendouzi and Willock have added energy, tenacity and technique to a midfield already underpinned by Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira. It's meant there is no longer any room for Elneny, who has struggled to establish himself as a regular member of the starting XI since arriving from Basel in the winter of 2016.

While he possesses a fierce shot, sound positional sense and is tidy in possession, Elneny doesn't have the flair to provide Arsenal much going forward. Arguably his best moments with the Gunners came as a deep-lying anchorman for parts of the 2017/18 season, when he helped the club reach the Carabao Cup final during Arsene Wenger's final campaign in charge.

Elneny has shown only brief glimpses of his talent in an Arsenal shirt.
Elneny has shown only brief glimpses of his talent in an Arsenal shirt.Clive Rose/Getty Images

Unai Emery succeeded Wenger last summer, and the Spaniard hasn't been shy about encouraging Elneny to move on. He recently advised both the midfielder and centre-back Shkodran Mustafi "to leave," per Sky Sports.

Elneny joining Besiktas is part of Arsenal's necessary process of trimming the squad. Emery has already confirmed Nacho Monreal could leave amid links between the left-back and Real Sociedad, per Metro.

Moving to Turkey will give Elneny the chance to start more often, while Emery will be able to hand more playing time to precocious young talent such as Willock.