Arteta 'in pain' after Arsenal miss out on Champions League
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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta can expect to receive a boost to his summer transfer budget after convincing both Mohamed Elneny and Eddie Nketiah to sign new contracts. The duo were set to leave for nothing this summer but that has changed in the last 24 hours.
Arsenal announced on Wednesday morning that Elneny had signed a new deal to keep him at the club until next summer, with the option of another year. Nketiah is now expected to follow suit and sign a five-year contract worth £100,000 a week after rejecting all previous offers of a renewal.
The striker wanted more game time and starting the last eight matches of the season has seemingly done enough to prove he is part of Arteta’s plans moving forward. And that is set to be good news for the Gunners boss.
Allowing Elneny and Nketiah to leave for free would have meant they needed to be replaced. That would have cost money that Arteta has now saved both himself and the club.
Arsenal are prioritising the signing of a striker, with Alexandre Lacazette set to leave. But seeing Nketiah go as well would have meant at least two strikers were needed.
Arteta may still see it fit to sign a couple of forwards. But keeping hold of Nketiah can let him focus on bringing in his main target to lead his line from next season to start with.
Meanwhile, Elneny knows his role is not going to be as a first-choice in Arteta’s midfield. Having an experienced player who is willing to settle to be used solely as a backup and in cup competitions is invaluable.
Arteta would have struggled to find someone like that on the market. Elneny made it clear he wanted to stay and his manager has given him what he wanted.
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The Gunners are still likely to sign a midfielder, with Leicester star Youri Tielemans the top target. But Arteta has ensured his resources will be well stocked by keeping Elneny.
He cannot rest on his laurels after securing the future of the two players. He knows he must move quickly and smartly in the market after failing to qualify for the Champions League.
However, the two new contract renewals give him a little bit more breathing space. And he is likely to have more money to spend on the players he does want to sign as well.
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