Ornstein claims time is running out for Arsenal youth product

David Ornstein is touted as a man in the know at Arsenal, and on his latest podcast he has claimed that Ainsley Maitland-Niles could be close to the end of his time with the club.

The 22 year-old has been at the club since the tender age of six, but could now find himself in search of a new home with the chance that playing time at the Emirates could become limited. Ornstein claims that this may have been the player’s own undoing however.

“I heard some suggestions, a long time ago now, that {Maitland-Niles} had expressed a desire or a preference not to be playing at right-back, and that he favours a central midfield position,” Ornstein told The Athletic podcast.

“Mikel Arteta isn’t particularly receptive to players indicating where they want to play. They will play where they’re told to play, and for the good of the team.

“Since then, I don’t know the exact conversations that have gone on, but he hasn’t been playing very much.

“One other suggestion I got was that he has been late for a couple of training sessions. Certainly, Arteta would not like that, given the discipline and behaviour, and respect and culture that’s so important to him.

“Some people around Arsenal feel that it could be done for Ainsley Maitland-Niles at Arsenal. We don’t know for a fact. I’m just reflecting on suggestions I’ve heard”

I personally have watched Maitland-Niles impress on a number of occasions this season, albeit at right-back (or right wing-back), and should the decision on his future be about ability I wouldn’t be ready to drop him just yet.

If reports are true about him looking to move into a central role then maybe the player himself will push to leave the club, but how will he tell his agent that he wants him to find a club that will play him in a role he has rarely been seen in?

It’s all rather complicated, but he is far from irreplaceable. It is just a shame that having spent more than two-thirds of his life at the club he could now move on long before he has peaked.

Would you keep Maitland-Niles on his performances over the past couple of seasons? Has he shown enough to warrant a claim for a midfield role?



  1. Yes keep him, he’s a valuable squad member, but if he asks to leave that of course is a different matter. Having said that, there is nothing concrete in Ornstein’s article, it’s more conjecture and hearsay really, imho.

  2. He is more talented than a number of our regulars.The fact that he has never been given an extended run in central midfield,an area in which we are lacking pace and energy, is beyond me.His laidback demeanour may be the root of his differences with Arteta, who I would like to think is above harbouring grudges.A host of Clubs will gather like vultures if we decide to sell him, which in itself will be a indication of his ability.

  3. So much is made of a players body language these days and for what purpose?
    One of the most disinterested looking players we ever had, was GG and he certainly had a
    decent career.

    I agree with both posts above (Grandad and GB) and hope to see any perceived differences overcome.

    MA will do what is best for the club, however, so AMN needs to get back on board, before MA starts his inevitable “clear out” of inherited players to make way for his own choices.

    1. Ken, Using “shades of grey” as is my way, I mainly agree with what you say about body language ALONE not being DECISIVE. But my theatre training tells me beyond doubt that most people, outside certain professions, underestimate its importance.

      On GG , would you not concede that he may well have had an even more successful career, had he THEN showed the determination and decisivenss he LATER showed as a manager? In life, hard work and dedication to your career almost always gets you further than being laid back and not hungry. Would you not agree with THAT, admittedly broad and generalised, thought?

      My take on AMN is that he has been shoved around over a longish time already and IMO, has not had a real chance in his natural midfield position. I suspect , but cannot know, that he resents this , privately, and has been discouraged by it. MA, being a manager who will always put the team before any individual, thank GOD too, may well never use him in midfield OR he might. We wait to see. But I feel that unless he plays in his correct postion, as I much hope, he is doomed at Arsenal. I have long rated his inate ability and pace.

      1. Jon, it may be possible to change the character of someone on the stage, but that is what it is… Acting or playing a part.

        With someone like GG you get what you see and to try and make him run up and down the pitch, while trying to mould him into something he isn’t, inevitably loses you the strength of character/person that made him what he was

        With apologises to the ladies in advance, its4luje that old cliché, I’ll change him for the better, suddenly to realise that you’ve lost the best part anyway… same for men with women of course

        Ass was done with Henry, recognise the assets already there and exploit them 100%-dont tell him he has to defend as much as he attacks, otherwise he misses chances.

  4. Looks like me and Kev’ Campbell then.

    I do however agree with Ken’s last paragraph above.

    Can I just ask if anyone has actually followed Ainsleys ‘ career from loan at Ipswich, and indeed prior to and beyond that at the time ?

    With due deference and respect to the gentlemen above (they know their stuff), I do honestly wonder if a good percentage of the younger AMN drum bangers actually think this player has suddenly come out of the woodwork.

    He is in football terms , no longer young.

    How long do we wait for the”breakthrough” ?

    Not fair , as not given a run.

    It is equally not a valid view to suspect, and trust the judgement of your eyesight at games, he may not be good enough (as seemingly judged by 4 managers now).

    After all “through the ranks” does not offer a divine right to go all the way.

    A gentle reminder, Ainsley is now under his FOURTH 1st team manager, and not featured in any meaningful way.

    Before biting my head off, this is just my opinion..

    Sadly, (again in my opinion) AMN is not going to figure in a true Mikel Arteta squad.

    Please prove me wrong Ainsley , I truly hope you do.

    1. Good post AJ, with sensible counter viewpoints.
      It does seem an eternity waiting for that final push through, but I feel he has justified another chance, of only for the way he got on with the job while playing out of position.

      Not hearing anything from the player himself, makes me think he’s put his head down and realised his mistake…of course it could be he wants out anyway, time will tell.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors