Arsenal urged to keep ‘diamond’ amidst uncertainty over future

Chris Sutton has urged Arsenal not to sell versatile man Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who he describes as a ‘diamond’.

The 23 year-old has just been called up to Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad ahead of the upcoming UEFA Nations League ties, and could well find himself given a starting role on the left side of the defence.

This call-up has come amidst speculation that the club are attempting to offload him, but with Maitland-Niles having been given a key role in the FA Cup semi-final, final and the Community Shield, and with him impressed in each, you would be forgiven for not believing those reports.

The latest paper talk is that Arsenal are considering a U-turn on their ‘decision’, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was never offered out at all.

Regardless of my thoughts on the latest, Chris Sutton has called for Arsenal to keep our former academy product, claiming he could well be an upgrade on Hector Bellerin, as well being more than able to fill in in various other roles.

“Maybe he feels he will be guaranteed better game time at Molineux. But it’s good to hear Arsenal are considering a transfer U-turn after his performance against Liverpool,” Sutton told his column at the DailyMail.

“He is such a versatile talent, a diamond, and I do believe Mikel Arteta trusts him. You don’t start against Liverpool here, or in the FA Cup semi-final and final against Manchester City and Chelsea, if that isn’t the case.

“Gareth Southgate has called Maitland-Niles, who only turned 23 on Saturday, into his England squad, too, having noticed how players don’t go past him easily. Neither Sadio Mane nor Mo Salah had any joy with him at left wing back, and there is an argument he’d be a better right wing back than Hector Bellerin.

“If I was an Arsenal decision-maker, I wouldn’t be in a hurry to get rid of Maitland-Niles, who still has three years on his contract. As his Wikipedia page states under playing position: ‘Midfielder, winger, full back, wing back.’ This young man’s versatility is a weapon, as is his pace and the way he reads the game.

“Arteta would be better off with him than without him.”

Would Arsenal be silly to offload Maitland-Niles after his fine displays of late?


Tags Ainsley Maitland-Niles Chris Sutton


  1. It would be nice if MA can help AMN find an identity. He should be established and proficient in one role (but then still versatile enough to fill other roles).

    He’s been played in too many different positions. Looks like he has the attributes to nail down that central midfield position….but then I’ll let Arteta decide what’s best for the player and the team.

    1. Spot on Maxis.
      Mikel hasn’t done to bad a job so far, two trophies and a squad of players, all of whom have improved.
      AMN is a product of ours and I’m certain MA has big plans for him.

    2. I think the club should cash in on Bellerin and play Maitland Niles at right back. Tierney and AMN played lights out on that left side linking with Auba but I think AMN is more suited to play on the right. Bellerin I feel offered very little going forward and seemed to make to many silly decisions stopping the attack. I think with Tierney on the left and AMN on the right and how they attack with aggression and take on players it will serve this team better as we lack creative midfielders currently. Having fullbacks that can turn a team and have them play on the back foot piles on pressure and that plays to our teams strength with our forward players.

  2. Right now after making great strides of late, it would seem madness to let AMN leave. I do not see that happening.

  3. Please tell the management and the manager to keep and also improve Maitland Contracte he is a very Valuable Player to Arsenal anyway I trust Mike Arteta he will surely keep him .Wonderful player. Everybody want him to Stay for as long as possible .

  4. Arsenal should endeavor to keep Niles for he’s our future,and we can’t loose him cheaply and get a cheap and better replacement for the role he’s playing In Arsenal

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