30 Million for Maitland-Niles Would Be Great Business by Dan Smith
If you ever wondered why our marketing team use as many British players as possible to advertise merchandise or dominate Arsenal’s in-house YouTube channel, take a look at the reaction to the news that we are willing to sell Maitland-Niles for 30 million.
Being young and British is the only reason why I can see some would regret selling the 22-year-old. Fans love ‘one of their own’ graduating from the academy, it’s the closest a supporter can get to relating to a player, someone who might generally love the badge and more likely to stay long term than a random signing.
Ainsley has literally grown up with us, as part of our youth set up from the age of 6. Yet how long was Arsene Wenger accused of giving too many chances to his squad, to the point they took advantage and became too comfortable?
This would be a ruthless decision by those above Areta (who’s believed to have been overruled) and for me, we need to be more cold in our dealings. Sentiment is not a reason to turn down 30 million. Gooners liking seeing British kids play is not a reason to either.
As a business, you take the emotion out of it and consider the offer for your asset. When you need to raise funds to improve other areas, 30 million for a player mostly on our bench makes sense.
If you are asking players to take payment reduction then you have to consider such a sum for a talent who under three coaches, has not been trusted to play in his favoured position.
Morally how can you sack 55 staff to cover 2 million a year then not accept 30 million on a man who a couple of months ago was making it clear his preference was to leave if first team football isn’t guaranteed?
With it not guaranteed when or how much matchday revenue you will get, 30 million becomes a lot of money.
30 million would cover a Coutinho loan, take us 15 million away from Partey’s release cause, will make up Auba’s new contract, heck some are saying Palace would now take 30 million for Zaha.
Some gooners were shocked to hear the news we would be putting one of our British core on the transfer list, but my surprise is we think we can get such a sum for a makeshift full back?
He will want to join a team where he’s trusted to play in midfield, and if my team were forking out 30 million on a midfielder, I wouldn’t want it to be on someone you don’t know is any good in the role.
Say what you want about Arsene Wenger and Unai Emery, they worked with enough players to recognise talent. Even our current manager, while possibly having been won over in the last few weeks, has clearly shared the same assessment as his predecessors.
That’s 3 managers who only saw Maitland-Niles good enough to fill in at left or right back. It’s not like any are shy in giving youth a chance either. Saka has played in attacking roles, so has Smith Rowe and Reiss Nelson, Willock has played where Niles wants to play, Eddie’s had minutes up front. It can’t be a coincidence that after 3 years and 3 managers, Niles is the only one out of that group who hasn’t been trusted to have a run in the team in his favoured role.
When you say it like that, 30 million would be as big a bargain as when we got 38 million for Iwobi. I know in the FA Cup Semi Final and Final, he showed he can tactically do a job and follow a game plan. Yet I promised myself I wouldn’t allow the joy of Wembley make me forget how poor this season was. We finished 8th, our worst position in 25 years.
To be a big club, we should think like a big club. We shouldn’t be wanting to keep a player because we are happy that he happened to have a couple of good games. That’s his job.
Based from August 19 to August 20, only a couple of individuals could complain if they were now replaced. You represented one of the worse Gunners teams in my lifetime, so damn straight your place at our club should be under threat.
Just think about that. Instead of being embarrassed by our performances he was complaining he might want to leave. Is Maitland-Niles a player you can trust to rescue us in our hour of need? Would him staying or be the difference between top 4 or 8th? He will be 23 later this month, is he truly a hot prospect like others?
He can be a good player for a mid-table team, but at Arsenal will only be on the fringe and 30 million for fringe is worth considering. He’s played 100 times for us so it’s not like he hasn’t had the opportunities. He might yet stay but only because I can’t see why anyone would pay 30 million for him.
Should we be happy to let him go at that price?