Aston Villa ‘eye’ Arsenal midfielder as Unai Emery targets reunion

Aston Villa host Stevenage in the FA Cup fourth round this afternoon
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Aston Villa are looking to make a surprise move for Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny, according to the Sunday Mirror. Unai Emery is fond of the Egyptian from his time in North London.

Elneny joined the Gunners from Basel seven years ago and has made over 150 appearances for the club since, however he has never managed to nail down a permanent role in the starting line-up. Having featured in the Premier League only five times this season, Elneny could leave the club during the January transfer window to avoid losing him for free once his contract expires in the summer and the report claims he could be available for as little as £6 million.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

While the midfielder made only eight league appearances in Emery’s first campaign at the Emirates Stadium, it now appears the Spaniard is eager to reunite with him at Villa Park as he looks to help his former colleague pick up regular game time. Aston Villa are currently relying on the likes of Douglas Luiz, John McGinn and Boubacar Kamara in the middle of the park, however they have long been looking to bolster the position and could turn to Elneny as a cheap option.

However, it may take some persuading as the Egypt international might not be quite as keen on the move as Emery is. After struggling to gain a place off the bench under Emery during his spell at Arsenal, the 30-year-old criticised the former Villarreal boss ahead of the Gunners’ clash with the La Liga club last year. Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “If you are good you will play, if you are not good you will be on the bench, or you will be out of the squad.

“This is what I love from Mikel Arteta because it is fair. If you train good and you train hard and you are ready to play he will give you a chance to play. This is what I missed before with Emery. He wasn’t giving me a chance to play and that’s why I get a chance to go to Turkey and prove myself and I come back and I’m happy about myself now.”

It is unclear whether Aston Villa will be successful in luring Elneny to the Midlands this month, however a move could certainly be on the cards if Arsenal want to avoid losing him for nothing in six months time.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.