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Mohamed Elneny: Mesut Ozil told me to leave Arsenal for Besiktas

15:36 GMT+3 14/09/2019
Mohamed Elneny in Besiktas training
The Egypt international has disclosed the reason he swapped North London for Istanbul

Mohamed Elneny has revealed Arsenal star Mesut Ozil played a large part in him leaving Arsenal for Besiktas this summer.

The Egypt international joined the Turkish giants on a season-long loan after three and a half years at Arsenal in which he made 89 appearances and scored twice.

Having found himself surplus to requirements under Unai Emery, the midfielder elected to move to the Black Eagles.

Elneny discussed how Ozil’s positive words about Turkey swayed his decision to sign for Abdullah Avcı’s team.

“Mesut is a friend that I love and appreciate. We had very good memories at Arsenal,” Elneny told Turkish newspaper Milliyet [via Kingfut].

“Of course I talked to him before coming to Besiktas. He told me to leave without thinking, telling me ‘Besiktas is a very big club, you must come here’.”

When asked how he’s fared in his first fortnight in Istanbul, the midfielder spoke glowingly about the club and fans.

“I’m so glad I came to Besiktas. Since day one Besiktas fans showed me love. I would like to thank them for this. My primary target is to help the team.

“There are good players and a nice team here. We want to achieve success in Turkey and Europe. I think the team have the potential to win the Europa League.”

“My first impression of Besiktas fans surprised me because they never stop cheering. They have great support for the team and this is really important for us. I love playing with great support behind me.”

Elneny, who wasn’t involved in the recent international break, made his Besiktas debut in a friendly against Umraniyespor on September 7, which they won 3-1.

The midfielder played for the entirety of the game and is in contention to make his league debut against Gazişehir Gaziantep on Saturday.