Mohamed Elneny tested positive for Covid while on international duty with Egypt, so what is his prognosis and when can we expect him back?
It speaks to the madness that is 2020 that Mohamed Elneny is not only still an Arsenal player but he’s also one who steadies the midfield and is something of a loss when out.
Perhaps that speaks more to Arsenal’s midfield depth than anything, but here we are.
After Mohamed Elneny’s agent confirmed a positive Covid test for the Arsenal midfielder last Monday, the Egypt FA provided an update.
On Monday 16 November, 2020, Mohamed Elneny’s agent Alan Nazmy confirmed the player had tested positive for Covid-19. He was with the Egypt squad ahead of their AFCON qualifier in Togo.
The Egypt FA then posted an update of their own. They confirmed that Elneny tested positive, without any symptoms, upon arriving in Togo. They emphasised that Elneny has been following all the protocols correctly, calling him “the well-behaved player,” unlike his chum Mo Salah.
The association coordinated with Arsenal to send Elneny back to Cairo for further testing and to preserve the safety of the rest of the squad.
All previous tests undertaken by Elneny over the break returned negative results.
Given Elneny tested negative as recently as last weekend, it seems this is unfortunately only the beginning of his upcoming isolation period. As expected, he missed the game against Leeds and Molde away would also seem to be out of the question.
It’s certainly not great timing for the midfielder, who impressed against Manchester United and also provided an assist in his last international fixture against Togo. Elneny wasn’t as good against Aston Villa in between, but who was?
Arsenal have alternative options. Thomas Partey is reportedly going to make it back from injury in time for the next game, Joe Willock is begging for a chance, in addition to first-team regulars Dani Ceballos and Granit Xhaka.
Emile Smith Rowe is also well on his way to an injury comeback, playing 90 minutes for the u21s immediately before the break. That was his first full match of the season, and it should put him back in contention.
All the same, the sooner Elneny is available again, the better. We wish him well for a speedy recovery.