Mohamed Elneny is determined to enhance Egyptian football’s reputation by proving himself in the Premier League.
The midfielder joined the club from Basel last week and was an unused substitute in the Gunners’ goalless draw at Stoke City on Sunday.
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Elneny is Arsenal’s first Egyptian player and the 23-year-old says he has a responsibility to prove that his country can produce top-class players.
I am very keen to work hard in the Premier League - that’s for my own reputation and Egypt’s reputation, and to show everyone that Egyptian players are capable of playing very well in the Premier LeagueMohamed Elneny
“Every player would be so proud to play for Arsenal, if they were Egyptian or not Egyptian,” he told Arsenal Player. “Being the first Egyptian player to play for Arsenal is a great honour and that makes me very happy.
“I am very keen to work hard in the Premier League - that’s for my own reputation and Egypt’s reputation, and to show everyone that Egyptian players are capable of playing very well in the Premier League.”
Elneny never imagined that he would be playing for Arsenal when he was younger, but says that playing for 10 hours a day helped him prepare for the physicality of English football.
“My father is a football coach back home in Egypt in my town, Almahalah,” he said. "He has a big passion for football and he always made sure that I accompanied him at every match he had been to, and the training sessions as well. He always had the dream and loved to see me as a footballer.
“We would play in the hot weather for more than 10 hours sometimes. That is very normal in Egypt. I was the same as any Egyptian kid because we all have a very strong passion for football. We would head straight to the football grounds as soon as we left the classroom.
“My parents played a big role in creating this passion in me towards football and they encouraged me to play football. It is really nice and important to have such encouraging parents, I am really grateful to them.
“My mother, she would accompany me in every club I went to. Since I was born my parents wanted to see me as a footballer and they are behind this passion I have for football. I sensed their support at home. It’s really nice to see that they love your job or the job you love to do, and that really helped me a lot.”Copyright 2016 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source