Maitland-Niles still at Arsenal
Despite reports to the contrary, Ainsley Maitland-Niles remains an Arsenal player as we head into the last two weeks of the transfer window.
The academy graduate spent the second half of last season on loan at West Bromwich Albion, but despite impressing, could not prevent the Baggies from slipping into the second tier of English football.
Earlier in the window, Maitland-Niles suggested that he would be more than happy to leave North London once again, in search of more regular first-team football.
Speaking exclusively to The Telegraph, he said:
“If it works out it works out, if it doesn’t then kiss Arsenal goodbye. It’s been a long journey but a proud one at that. Maybe they still want to do something & things could change. If not, there’s always other teams.”
However, there has been little rumoured interest forthcoming in the Englishman, with any potential offers having failed to materialise, meaning Maitland-Niles has not had the chance to leave the Emirates.
Does training video hint at future position?
However, eagle-eyed Arsenal fans have spotted a key detail in a recent training video, suggesting that the 23-year-old could have a future in north London after all.
If Maitland-Niles does end up staying, it will be interesting to see how much he is involved. I just can’t see Arteta playing him in midfield. pic.twitter.com/ZkOl3Ki7iI
— Gurjit (@GurjitAFC) August 18, 2021
Playing in a training game, Maitland-Niles can be seen picking up possession in the right-back position, before curling the ball into the far corner with the outside of his foot. Given the fact that Arsenal are reportedly keen to identify a new right-back, could a first-team berth be forthcoming for Maitland-Niles?
Such an outcome would, of course, represent a significant U-turn for the versatile player, who has previously expressed his desire to play in midfield. However, with pickings slim for Mikel Arteta, and considering AMN’s previously impressive displays in a defensive role, it could just be on the cards.
This article was edited by Conor Laird.
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