Maitland-Niles returns to Arsenal with a medal – What next?

The ongoing saga that is Ainsley Maitland-Niles comes to the end of another chapter as hhe has now confirmed that he is not being retained by Jose Mourinho’s Roma team.

Having failed to secure a place in Arsenal’s midfield and usually being played as a backup right-back, he tried a loan period at West Brom last season in midfield but that didn’t work out either. He returned to Arsenal but made it clear that he wanted to move on to get some game time, but Arteta turned him down, but let him go to Roma last January on a loan-to-buy option, where Jose Mourinho wanted him as a right-back.

But after starting only 8 games in Roma, but getting a winners medal in the Euro Conference League, it has now been confirmed by the player himself that Mourinho has decided against a permanent move and he will be coming back to the Emirates this summer.


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But what next for Ainsley, as he still has a year left on his Arsenal contract?

If Arteta keeps him at Arsenal, I doubt he will progress past being a backup right-back, but I also can’t see him wanting to stay unless he can play.

It looks like this will be yet another player that will be sold off very cheaply if he can find a club that wants him.

It’s a shame, but after 8 years on Arsenal’s books, I think it is time to admit that it’s over….

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  1. If he was happy to be a back up right back at Roma, why can’t he accept the same situation with us?

  2. I’d be happy with him as Tomiyasu’s backup and emergency cover elsewhere (LB, MF) but that’s not a role he seems happy with so time to sell.

    I get where he coming from and wish him the best although I think he may be headed down the boulevard of broken dreams wherever he ends up.

  3. Sad that this young gunner’s talents haven’t been properly utilised. Once he’d been used as a utility player, his fate was sealed and no one bothered to look at him beyond that. IJS…

    1. He could be our James Milner who has carved out a pretty good career as a utility man.

      1. @Voyageur
        That wouldn’t be a bad thing. In essence, that’s what he’s always been for us…

  4. People foreget AMN was quite a useful guy for us. Definitely good enough for the squad, especially in Europa league. He has that quality when given a specific job and his speed running back towards goal can be vital. He is not gonna get us off our seats but then nor are Tomi and KT when in recovering from injuries. MA’s choice but he has to learn fast, don’t mess with the homegrowns!

  5. Personally I much believe AMN;s real problem is betweenhis ears. He has always seemed to me to lack desire and the vital will to make a top player of himself.

    I RATE HIM AS A USEFUL BUT NO MORE THAN THAT FULLBACK. BUT HE HAS NEVER ACCEPTED BEING A FULLBACK. Not our fault but his, so he will now pay the price for his stubbornness and will IMO fail to make any real name for himself anywhere, after all this time. Essentially a half decent talent, wasted. Sigh!

  6. He was given a chance at West Brom to play in midfield what he wanted. Sadly for him, he did not put the PL alight in that role. If you can not dominate at West Brom or Roma it will be difficult to claim Arsenal should start you there.

    I think his desire to play in midfield is not in sync with his abilities. It seems to me he could have been a good right back if he had applied himself 100%.

    I guess if his heart is not into being a right-back then there is no point accepting that role. It will however probably mean he will only find a team in a foreign league or play backup in a bottom half PL team. I would think.

    1. @John63
      I always laugh when someone tries to use the WB loan against AMN. Gnabry flopped at WB also, but no one throws it back at him.
      Once again, AMNs last match for AFC, saw him put in a MOTM performance in midfield. He was then shipped out to Roma, instead of being used to help us achieve a CL spot. IJS

      1. That’s true – he was looking good in midfield and probably could have helped us at the end of the season when lokonga was struggling.
        It’s such a shame because he has had really dominant games (mostly at left wing back, funnily enough as everyone wants him to be a right back!), but hasn’t shown consistency and perhaps hasn’t really had enough opportunity.
        Possibly a similar case to Nketiah, except that Eddie has been far less vocal about his issues and always shown a great attitude whenever given the chance to play. I like AMN, but i think he’s got that entitled attitude and seems to believe his few excellent performances should get him into the team (all too common at this club unfortunately, from what I’ve seen; bellerin, denilson, Walcott, oxlade, even diaby many years ago was moaning about not starting games after scoring a nice goal against Derby!) – you have to keep the same high level in every game, at least in attitude/approach.

  7. He better than cedric and tavarez let him stay. Its dead even between him and lukonga. Could have gotten 30M from midelsborough

  8. Rip up the contract and he leaves on a free, why would a club pay a fee for a player Arteta does not want at the club?

  9. His poor decision on choosing a area he is less effective at may cost him dearly.

    He may have lack real smart people in his corner to aid him with his development.

    All is not lost, he needs to settle down and take the right back position as his own, have seen him having very good games in this position with opponents have challenges passing him.

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