Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang says Mohamed Elneny has gone up a level after his loan spell at Besiktas, describing the Arsenal midfielder's recent performances as "unbelievable".
Elneny's Arsenal career appeared to be drawing to a close when he completed a temporary move to Turkey in August 2019.
Besiktas snapped the 28-year-old up on a one-year loan deal with the option to buy, and he went on make 27 Super Lig appearances to help the club finish third in the table last season.
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The Turkish outfit ultimately decided against bringing him in on a permanent basis, but he was still heavily linked with a move away from Emirates Stadium throughout the summer transfer window.
Mikel Arteta ultimately decided to keep hold of Elneny, who is now approaching the final six months of his contract with the Gunners, and he has played a key role in the Spaniard's set up in the early stages of the 2020-21 campaign.
The Egyptian has already featured in eight games for Arsenal in 2020-21, leading to rumours of a possible contract extension, which Arteta did not rule out ahead of a Europa League clash against Molde on Thursday.
"Let's go step by step please! What I can say is that I'm really pleased with the player and hopefully he can continue like that and perform all season," he told a pre-match press conference.
Elneny was one of the best players on the pitch in the Gunners' last outing against Manchester United, with an Aubameyang penalty giving Arteta's side a 1-0 victory in last weekend's heavyweight Premier League clash.
The Gabon international has been impressed with how much his team-mate has improved since his return to the Emirates, as he told the club's official website: “It was also a fantastic performance in midfield from Mo [against United].
"I think his loan spell was good for him - to go out and get some more experience. He came back with that experience and that's really important too. How he's been playing since he came back is just unbelievable.
“His sprint at the end of the game… I don't know how he did that! That is the energy he has, that's what we want as a team and everyone here really wants to play that way.
"We want to give everything, in every minute and that's exactly what Mo is doing."
Aubameyang added on his relationship with Elneny: “He's a funny guy Mo, and I think we are similar people. We are both always smiling and being positive, so when we get together it's always funny - we laugh a lot. It's really, really nice to be around him.”