Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny has opened the door for a new contract despite his lack of regular minutes under manager Mikel Arteta this term.
The Egypt international has largely been a squad player during the ongoing campaign, managing just 602 minutes of playing time in all competitions.
However, he has recently been pivotal to their top-four pursuit with impressive displays against Chelsea and Manchester United in the centre of the park.
This has earned him plenty of plaudits from the club’s faithful, and he has now opened the door for a contract renewal despite his current squad position.
Speaking to The Independent’s Mark Mann-Bryans, he said: “Of course. I always love a challenge and give 100 per cent all the time.”
“I don’t decide who plays but I keep going in training to show how good I am and to make him play me.
“If I don’t play I keep going until I get my chance. If Arsenal say ‘we want you’ I don’t think about leaving. It’s my family for six years. I love this club.”
Elneny has been linked with a move to Turkey on multiple occasions, and there were no surprises when there was speculated interest at the turn of the year.
However, the Gunners had no plans of parting ways with him. Elneny has also been respectful to the north London club, and has never voiced concerns.
His current £52,500-a-week deal expires at the end of June and it seems a no-brainer to hand him at least a two-year contract on a similar salary package.
Despite his impressive showing in recent matches, it is clear that he won’t be a regular starter when Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey are both available.
His situation could only get worse next season with the Gunners potentially adding another midfielder to their ranks during this summer’s transfer window.
Elneny is already facing competition from Albert Sambi Lokonga.
Meanwhile, manager Mikel Arteta may need to rotate his squad more with a likely return to European football next term. There could be untimely injuries to consider.
Elneny has now openly stated that he would stay if the Gunners want to keep him. This should ease negotiations over a renewal at the end of the season.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com and Sportrac.com