Morning all.

I think the new deal for Mo Elneny makes absolute sense. It’s a year with an option for another if all goes well for him and Arsenal. A dip into the transfer market to find a player who has his experience, enthusiasm and energy would cost the club money and very likely, wages greater than what Elneny is on. He’s not going to be starting 38 Premier League fixtures next season, nor is he likely to be Mikel Arteta’s first choice central midfielder in the league but when he’s needed, he’ll be there, just as he has been during the final weeks of the season just gone. Mikel Arteta needs a squad, not just a first team. Elneny doesn’t seem to have a chip on his shoulder and having watched his recent interview, he makes no demands, he just loves Arsenal football club and wants to stay until he retires from the game. Yet not for one minute do I think he’s staying for an easy ride.

I love this club and I feel like part of this family. I want to continue at this amazing club and amazing family and I’m very happy and very excited for the future.

Arsenal fans can vent their frustration on social media and other websites, suggesting Elneny extending his contract isn’t a sign of Arsenal showing ambition but in my opinion, they’re not seeing the bigger picture. Arsenal aren’t keeping the negative, sideways and backwards passing player we saw a few years ago, they are keeping hold of a player who now looks up and ahead, opting for safety when it is the only option.

The same applies to Eddie Nketiah who is reported to be on the verge of signing a new five year contract with the club. If Arsenal confirm this, I’ll be over the moon. No, he’s not the strong, athletic and tall striker many of us feel the team is lacking but he has different qualities which has been evident for a long time. He’s clearly worked hard on his game and has been worked hard too.
Credit to Mikel Arteta for not dropping him as soon as Lacazette recovered from Covid. If he ever had Covid in the first place.

I read a comment in one of the newspapers this morning which suggested a five year contract for Nketiah is bonkers. Something similar anyway but on one hand the club are criticised for allowing players to leave for free, yet when a long term contract is offered to a 22 year old, that’s not right either. Yet it is, at least I think it is. Eddie finished the season with 10 goals, our 3rd highest goal scorer behind Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe yet if we compared the minutes he’s played to the rest of our attacking players, I’m sure Eddie Nketiah would come out on top. Not for one minute am I suggesting Nketiah should be our main striker next season but we need depth and he gives us that.

I’m sure we all have a number in our head of how many players we think Arsenal need to sign this summer but when number of solutions are already at the club, what’s the point in taking a gamble on an unknown player from overseas? Surely, the only way Arsenal will be improve next season is by bringing in better players than 2 or 3 we have seen in what I would call Mikel Arteta’s first choice 11/13 players. Also, with injury concerns over Thomas Partey, Kieran Tierney and Takehiro Tomiyasu, better players than we currently have, to rotate/challenge them.

Anyway, you have probably guessed, I’m pleased Mo is staying and I’ll be even more pleased if Nketiah does too.

See you in the comments….