Newcastle United have reportedly shortlisted Arsenal’s midfield outcast Mohamed Elneny as a January transfer target.
According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal and Egypt star Mohamed Elneny has emerged as a potential January transfer target for Newcastle United as the Magpies boss Eddie Howe looks to add more bite to his midfield roster.
With Newcastle languishing 19th in the Premier League table with a mere tally of 10 points from 15 games, the transfer window could not have come at a better time for the Magpies as they look to make new signings in January to help the team escape the relegation zone. Following their much-publicized Saudi-led takeover, many expected Newcastle to start chasing elite players immediately, offering huge salaries to lure them away from their teams.
And although Newcastle’s new owners have lofty ambitions of signing stellar players shown by their recent links with Jesse Lingard, Toni Kroos and Donny van de Beek, their transfer plans have been affected by their league position with players and agents taking caution due to the risk of relegation. And it seems like the Magpies are turning their attention to low-cost big impact signings.
As per the report, Newcastle’s head of recruitment Steve Nickson is understood to be leading the recruitment drive next month with manager Howe presenting a host of January targets in the latest transfer meeting. The shortlist consists of five players with priority on strengthening defence and midfield areas – Bournemouth’s Lloyd Kelly, Tottenham’s Joe Rodon, Lille’s Sven Botman and German international Matthias Ginter while there is also a surprise inclusion of Arsenal outcast Mohamed Elneny.
The Egyptian has found it tough to break into Mikel Arteta’s plans at Arsenal this season. Surprisingly, he got a rare start in their defeat to Manchester United last week and registered an assist for the Gunners’ opener. The Egyptian has clocked up just under 150 minutes of Premier League action this season, and his future looks increasingly away from the Emirates.
Snapped up from FC Basel in early 2016, the 29-year-old is a hard-working midfielder but has always been a bit-part squad player throughout his time in North London. He was loaned out to Turkish side Besiktas in 2019/20 but enjoyed a minor resurgence under Arteta the following season.
With his contract expiring at the end of the season, Arsenal may contemplate selling Elneny to balance their books after heavy spending last summer. Several teams, notably Turkish giants Galatasaray and Saudi Arabian side Ittihad Jeddah, are interested in the Egyptian’s services. However, Newcastle would offer the Egyptian a more appealing prospect of staying in the Premier League.
Elneny could prove to be a low-key signing for Newcastle, adding more resilience and composure in midfield. While he is not a robust tackler, he is an intelligent reader of the game and good at holding onto the ball. He is a flexible player capable of operating as a holding midfielder or in the box-to-box role.
The midfielder fitted in well alongside Granit Xhaka at Arsenal, suggesting he could work well beside a creative playmaker like Jonjo Shelvey. Only time will tell whether Newcastle do land Elneny in January or move for other alternatives.