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‘It breaks my heart’ – Mohamed Elneny among 22 players to leave Arsenal on free transfers as overhaul begins

Mohamed Elneny, Arsenal’s longest-serving player, is one of 22 players who will leave the club as free agents.

The Gunners have announced their released list ahead of next season, which has seen many fan favorites leave the Emirates.

Elneny will leave Arsenal after eight and a half years at the Emirates

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Elneny to leave Arsenal after eight-and-a-half years at EmiratesCredit: Getty

In a statement released on Monday morning, the people of north London indicated which of their academic men, women and academics would not be retained.

And that includes Egypt international Elneny, who spent more than eight years at Arsenal following his £5 million move from Basel in January 2016.

During his time at the club, he played 161 matches in all competitions, where he was mainly used off the bench.

An FA Cup winner, Elneny also started in the Community Shield victories in 2017 and 2020, with a loan spell at Besiktas sandwiched in between.

Elneny said: “It meant a lot to me to be here for so long, it was the best eight years of my life. I love this club so much, I love the fans, I love everything about Arsenal.

“It breaks my heart, that’s why I refused to go on the field (in the victory lap) because I was so emotional. But that’s life, my time here is coming to an end and I’m very proud of what I’ve done for this club.

“I love these fans and I gave everything I had. I appreciate everything they have done for me, in good times and bad, and they will always be in my heart forever.

Alongside him, Cedric Soares, another first-team star, has been at the club since January 2020 after joining Southampton on an initial loan.

Portuguese right-back Cedric was used as a back-up option during his time in north London.

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Portuguese right-back Cedric was used as a back-up option during his time in north London.Credit: Getty

A goalscorer on debut, his highlight of his 64 appearances will undoubtedly be his successful strike in the 2020 Community Shield penalty shootout victory over Liverpool.

And women’s legend Vivianne Miedema is one of three female stars leaving Arsenal alongside goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo and Kaylan Marckese.

Dutch striker Miedema established herself as one of England’s best strikers during her seven-year stay, scoring 124 goals in 166 matches.

Miedema leaves Arsenal women's team as club legend after scoring 124 goals

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Miedema leaves Arsenal women’s team as club legend after scoring 124 goalsCredit: Getty

She left the club after winning the Women’s Super League as well as three League Cup trophies.

Other notable players leaving Arsenal include goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo, who spent the 2023/24 season on loan at Wrexham.

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The 22-year-old, who has never played a senior game for the Gunners, made 40 appearances for the Welsh side to help them secure promotion to League One.

Their Hollywood co-owner Rob McElhenney waxed lyrical about his impact at the racecourse, with the youngster expertly filling the void left by Ben Foster.

Elsewhere, youngsters Omari Benjamin, Tyreece John-Jules and Kido Taylor-Hart failed to be offered contract extensions.

Luis Brown, Catalin Cirjan, Noah Cooper, Henry Davies, Ovie Ejeheri, Taylor Foran, Hubert Graczyk, James Hillson, Henry Jeffcott, Alex Kirk, James Lannin-Sweet and Kamarni Ryan complete the departures.

Although Arsenal have revealed they are in discussions with Amario Cozier-Duberry, Karl Hein and Reuell Walters to extend their stay beyond June 30.

A number of male, female and academy players are leaving the club.

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A number of male, female and academy players are leaving the club.

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