By Joe Ellis

9th Feb, 2022 | 4:10pm

Leeds United blocked by Mikel Arteta in move for Mohamed Elneny in January

Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny was blocked from a January move to Leeds United by manager Mikel Arteta, according to the player’s agent in Sporx.

The 29-year-old has been at the Emirates since 2016 but he has been unable to stamp his mark on the first team and has been attracting interest from across Europe.

According to Sporx and the player’s agent, Lyon, Marseille, Valencia, Watford, Newcastle, Besiktas and Galatasaray were all in the hunt to sign the Egyptian.

“There have been a lot of offers for Elneny lately but all the offers were turned down because Arteta wanted him to stay at Arsenal,” his agent said.

What could’ve been

It wouldn’t have been an easy deal to get over the line with the 29-year-old with Egypt at the Africa Cup of Nations for most of January but it would have been brilliant for Marcelo Bielsa.

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Elneny possesses an infectious energy in the midfield that gets his teammates rallying around to put in the same high standards of effort which sounds like the model Leeds United player.

Despite this, however, he cannot nail down a place at Arsenal with Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey often preferred and even Albert Sambi Lokonga edging the Egyptian to game time this season.

He could do with a move away but Arteta’s refusal to let him go has trapped him in London until the end of the season at least, just to be a backup.

He would have been a superb addition at Elland Road, keeping the engine at maximum power in the middle of the park and helping the Whites’ attacking talent to thrive by giving them less running to do.

It is still worth returning to Elneny in the summer when Arteta has the chance to find a replacement.

In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay has made a major claim regarding the situation between Leeds and the San Francisco 49ers.