Danny Mills admits that he doesn’t know where Ainsley Maitland-Niles fits into this Arsenal side, and is worried that he may suffer after failing to convince his club to allow him his exit.
The midfielder is believed to have been of interest to Everton this summer, only for the Gunners to reject their advances, which led AMN to post on Instagram, saying: “All I wanna do is go where I’m wanted and where I’m gonna play.”
Despite his comments, he wasn’t allowed to leave the club on Deadline Day, and he will now have to try and convince Mikel Arteta to play him, and he could well be relying on absences in the centre of the park.
Danny Mills believes it will be ‘very difficult’ to break into the manager’s plans however, and admits AMN could ‘suffer’ after his outburst.
“I think it’s difficult. It’s very, very difficult,” the former England defender told the Football Insider.
“Where does he fit in? He clearly wasn’t part of Arteta’s plans. They got rid of one young player in Willock. Now they’re not doing particularly well then all of sudden if you let another talented young player go…
“But where does he fit? He’s not going to play left-back or left-wing back.
“I think it’s a shame because he’s a good young player and he clearly wanted to leave. For whatever reason, Arsenal wouldn’t allow that to happen.
“You just hope he doesn’t suffer because of that. He’s a good player, without a doubt. There are no concerns about that, he just wants to play and needs to play.”
There has been reports that we could switch to a back five again in recent weeks, as we started against Manchester City, which could well see Maitland-Niles get minutes at wing-back, while he may not be that far behind in the pecking order in midfield either.
Where do you believe Maitland-Niles performs his best, at CM,FB or WB?