Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles has been a subject of interest from several clubs in the past 12 months.
With his preference of playing in midfield, and Mikel Arteta’s reluctance to agree to his demands, it is not a secret that the Gunners will listen to offers for their academy graduate.
Wolves, Southampton and even Leicester City have been credited to hold an interest in Maitland-Niles in the past. But now, a new team has entered the frame: Everton.
Everton are expected to make a move for the Englishman
— Lyall Thomas (@SkySportsLyall) August 27, 2021
The Toffees want sufficient back-up cover at the right-back slot, with Séamus Coleman at the wrong side of his 30s. While Jonjoe Kenny is not thought to be a long-term first choice player.
Everton and Arsenal are believed to have good relations, having earlier held negotiations on players such as Theo Walcott in 2018 and Alex Iwobi in 2019.
In the current transfer window, The Blues are willing to acquire the services of Ainsley Maitland-Niles on a temporary basis, according to Sky Sports journalist Lyall Thomas.
Any loan deal might turn out to be a sticking point for Arsenal, as they try to raise some cash through ‘several departures’ in their bid to land a fresh right-back before the transfer window concludes on the 31st of August.
Whereas the player can himself have some reservations of leaving Arsenal to eventually play as a full-back.
Right-back has been a problem position for Arsenal since Hector Bellerin’s ACL injury
You see, here, the RB should be making a run to help Pépé and offer attacking threat but this never happens. Doesn’t matter if it’s Cédric, Chambers, Bellerin or Maitland-Niles. Our right hand side is always nonexistent… due to tactics. pic.twitter.com/Khu81f99TM
— Eduardo Hagn (@EduardoHagn) August 23, 2021
Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier and Barcelona’s Emerson Royal are two names highly thought of by the club. A late move for either is genuinely possible if the Gunners are able to shed some weight on their already bloated squad.
The next few days will be huge for Arsenal, in their last try to strengthen the squad even more.
The transfer business of the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Leicester City and even Aston Villa have made some section of the Arsenal faithful apprehensive about how the current campaign will pan out.
Another addition in the upcoming days will at least alleviate their worries to some extent.
Maitland-Niles former coach Sam Allardyce has already pleaded to him to embrace the right-back slot
🗣Sam Allardyce on Ainsley Maitland-Niles: “#Arsenal have got many talented midfield players. I can see why it’s been difficult for him. That’s why he’s been played more as a full-back. If I were him, I’d play wherever the manager picked me and I’d never turn it down.” pic.twitter.com/ylu7Y9oRO1
— Arsenal News Channel (@Arsenalnewschan) May 15, 2021
In my personal opinion, Maitland-Niles is the best right-back that we have in our books. He has all the attributes that you link to a good right-back. Pacey, good at defending, good at passing. Although he has some polishing up to do in the crossing department, he’s still young at 23, and can develop massively.
Helping Arsenal in lifting the FA Cup last year and being called up to the England squad as a right-back was a testament that there is a great talent there.
But if he doesn’t want to play as a full-back, then everything can just be thrown out of the window.