There are a hell of a lot of Arsenal transfer rumours doing the rounds, both outgoing and incoming, but so far there has been extremely little movement either way.
One player that we were expecting offers for is Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who has not been able to find any game-time in his preferred position of midfield, and was sent out on loan at relegated West Brom for the second half of last season.
At the end of the season, which saw the Baggies relegated, Sam Allardyce suggested that Maitland-Niles should return to Arsenal and stick to his best position of right-back unless he can start scoring goals to contribute to the team. Allardyce told the Mirror: “It’s the same for every midfielder, or every attacking midfielder like them, they have to add some goals.
“Overall, Ainsley has done the job we asked him to. He’s played where we have asked him, he’s played where he wanted to. He’s made a big contribution. But there is just one thing missing: Those goals that we ultimately needed.”
But the Academeny graduate has made it clear that still wants to play in midfield, and he wanted to talk to Mikel Arteta when he returned from his loan.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Maitland-Niles said: “If I was to get a phone call from someone at Arsenal and they said they’d like a meeting tomorrow, then it would be easier that way.
“They can tell me whether they’ve got plans to play me in the future or if they want to sell me. I’ve heard they want to make some space [in the squad] and some money so I’m not sure.
“I want a decision. I want some clarity. And then hopefully I can get to work with whoever I need to get to work with.
“Whether that is finding a new club or whether that is carrying on with my training. I would like some kind of indication of what is happening. Where they see me.
“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 and things could change. If not, there’s always other teams.”
So, the other teams mentioned so far are Southampton and Watford, and he was mentioned as a possible swap option involving Wolves’ Ruben Neves a couple of weeks ago, and Everton was mentioned as a possible destination by the Mail.
But there has not been any serious rumours of offers coming in, so it could be that he could stay at Arsenal. With numerous reports of Hector Bellerin leaving, perhaps Arteta could persuade him to return to the right-back position to give us some options next season, but AMN doesn’t seem interested…