Interview

‘He’s super-popular and I wanted him to stay’

Mohamed Elneny is having a month to remember.

The Egypt midfielder signed a new contract with us last week, had a red card overturned in the wake of the Southampton game, and pulled the strings as we fought our way past CSKA Moscow on Thursday.
 
Elneny set up Danny Welbeck’s vital goal with a perfect pass into the penalty area, and set Aaron Ramsey racing clear for a stoppage-time second.

“He a super-popular player and everybody inside the club loves him,” said Arsene Wenger.
 
“But he’s not only loved, he is also a very good player and he showed that in Moscow. I never wanted him to leave, I always wanted him to stay. I must say that we had demands for him but he always wanted to stay too.
 
“In the second half in Moscow he played in defence and then afterwards, when he moved back into the middle of the park, he gave assists. He works hard and is generous. Overall, I think he did very well.

“And I’m very happy [about the red card decision] because I think it was a wise decision and he will be available for Newcastle.”