Should Arsenal let Maitland-Niles leave this summer?

David Ornstein today reported in The Athletic that “Ainsley Maitland-Niles feels he has to leave Arsenal for first-team football.” So, would that really be a bad thing for the club?

Ainsley has failed to impress when given the chance really. With 96 appearances for four different managers in six years, and only playing and completing in one game for Arsenal since 2018, I am surprised it has taken him this long to realise that he wouldn’t be guaranteed a first team place at the club. Even though he is still only 22 years old, we wouldn’t want to see him leave at this time and then become somewhat of a sought-after player and make a name for himself like what Serge Gnabry has now done at Bayern Munich. But if he is failing to impress both in training and on the pitch then the best place for him would be at a different club.

Being deployed as a midfielder, winger, right back and wing back it is clear to see why Ainsley has struggled to cement a place for himself, because he can’t seem to get a clear run of games going, and when he does, he is then asked to play in a different position. But, he shouldn’t see this as a negative, he should see this as a positive, because it is clear that he has a talent that means he can be played in a number of positions. Although it is a shame that he doesn’t get given more of a chance to prove himself, even though Arteta seems to like playing the youngsters.

It would be a shame to lose someone like Maitland-Niles who is so young and has come through our Hale End academy. Given that chance he could easily make a name for himself at a club as big as Arsenal, but if his time is up and he himself realises it, then it is clear to see that even if he is now given a chance, which seems unlikely, his heart wouldn’t really be in it and from what know and see from Arteta, that is not the sort of player he wants to work with!

Would you miss him Gooners?

Shenel Osman


  1. I think he has played well When given the chance generally. But if we can’t give him play time we might as well sell him. I would like to see him play more though.

  2. Yes, we would miss him. This lad has been used in different positions, has never complained nor has taken to social media to create chaos like the other merchant who got himself injured after sitting on a spectator’s seat! He has done his best given the situations, he has all the attributes to be successful which I would like him to be specially at Arsenal, but if the coach wants to see his back and hire some cartoon then so be it, I would wish him all the best and maybe the club insert a buyback clause rather than looking for a financial incentive. To give their lame pets game time , the coaches overlooked Gnarby, Ismael, Jeff Reine now AMN.

    1. You said it. I find it bewildering that some get chance after chance, while others are left wondering why they can’t get a sniff. And you can add Malen (sp?) to this list and perhaps soon enough Balogun. If you tally the current value of players Arsenal have let go for peanuts in very recent years, this will likely be in excess of 100M. What is the effing point of an academy if the product thereof is so often overlooked?

        1. Agree. Wenger sent Gnabry to a team where he would never fit. While Wenger persisted with the Ox, Gnabry never got a sniff. Bennacer was never even given a sniff, and quickly sold for a box of cornflakes, there is that lad who is plying his trade for PSV (Malen?). Truth be told I never even heard of him. But how can a player become good overnight? The talent was surely there to be harnessed. Sold for less than 1M, now he is worth apparently 25M. Reine-Adelaide same…

  3. He is a utility player and just 23yrs of age. Everytime he’s given a chance, he fully utilises it. Arteta doesn’t rate the guy, but Maitland-Niles has vast potential

    1. When blows in his position elsewhere as other youngsters, can’t be surprised, look at Bennacer or Adelaide already in national teams…

  4. In a word, no.This guy has most of the requirements of a modern day player including, speed and athleticism which is missing in virtually all our defenders and midfield players.It’s up to the Manager to get him to use his talents effectively, but for whatever reason, Arteta has chosen not to give him an opportunity.Ironically we have a host of mediocre performers who we cannot sell and yet we are getting rid of a player who will I am sure, attract considerable interest from other Premier League sides.It does not make sense to me.

    1. 👍 Like you Grandad I cannot understand Arteta’s neglect of a utility player like AMN, who every time he is selected rarely let’s Arsenal or Arteta down.

      1. He needs to fight to be in our team, he must show that hunger, if not he can find first team football elsewhere, Arteta is right if a player shows the hunger and he is ready, play him if not he can sit on the bench or move on. Alot of fans moan when the players don’t give 100 percent on the pitch yet when they are benched we accuse the coach of having favorites makes no sense.

      2. Don’t disagree Pat, but some credit must be given to match day performance. AMN rarely let’s the coach or Club down when given an opportunity.
        What is the good of a player, who trains the house down and can’t perform under the pressure of a competitive game?

  5. Simple yes!Orstein has revealed that the player’s mind is made up and wants to leave,another pro for selling him is our need to raise funds and apparently there is offers from English and German club and honestly he won’t be missed,but the club needs to insert a buy back or sell on clause he might end up like Gnabry,Sancho…you never know,it should be done with all our young players we sell!

  6. We need the money… Sell him and Insert an buy back clause.

    Mavropanos has signed a new contract and gone back to Germany, on loan at Stuttgart.
    Great to see Arteta holding down the youngsters.
    That’s three youngsters renewing their contract this year

    1. Eddie, Arsenal needs some sales to finance essential transfers; however it is critical to sell the right players and AMN isn’t one of them.
      I agree with you that it is a positive that Arsenal has thus far renewed the contracts of Saka and Mavropanos; however keeping Balogun and AMN should be a priority. These young players will be expensive to adequately replace.

      1. Balogun, Osei Tutu, Tyreece Jules are the future of the club, train these lads rather than scouting players like Elneny, Socrates, Kolasinac and similar. Gabriel, Saka, Eddie have proved that young talent is much superior to the so called stars which we are after. Unless you hire top dollar players like Mane or VVD or Salah, train the youngsters and they will not fail you. AMN is a example. Nelson and Willock need loan deals with an EPL club. Future seems bright unless we derail it with sub standard transfers.

      2. Ozziegunner,I think one the main reason he wants to leave is because I believe the boy wants to play in midfield, it’s already difficult for him as it is ,so imagine after the summer when MA will bolster his midfield options I sadly don’t see it happening!

        1. Exactly, with rumours Arteta wants to upgrade his midfield, anyone of you really think AMN will get the chance to play his position?
          Remember now we have Bellerin and Cedric for RB.
          And please please let’s drop this stuff that AMN would sort our midfield issues, I like the boy, I’ll be happy if we keep him, but we need better midfielder than what we currently have at the club

  7. If we’re getting Saar who is left footed cb and Partey, then we should let Guenduci and Xhaka go instead, then keep MN as he has the intelligence to make it at the top.

    1. Partey will need time to adjust to EPL and Saar is not better than Maitland-Niles. How did it take Gouendouzi to adjust to EPL? I’m talking about a guy a guy ftom French second division. Just be careful of what you wish for. Arsenal doesn’t have time for players to adjust, like Pepe

  8. Every manager will have his prefered type of players. If Ansley sees himslef as being sidelined and Arteta has not made any attempt to convince him to stay, then the manager possibly won’t miss him.
    Let him be left to go if he wants to.

  9. I agree Ozziegunner.Balogun to me has immense potential and every effort must be made to keep him.

  10. It would be total madness to let him go.

    Firstly, he’s technically better than all the other midfielders that are not talked about; Guendouzi, Xhaka, Torreira.

    Secondly, what he offers only Mkitaryan is the other player that can offer it in the current squad;
    Dribbling, energy, comfort on the ball, darting runs into the box, goal scoring

    1. Wow. Here we go again. Are we talking about the same AMN or someone else. Let’s take it easy with the merry go statements about certain once it’s time to see backs outta the club. He’s nowhere near those attributes.

  11. Dont get me wrong AMN has played well recently when called upon.
    the issue for me and is probably the same for Arteta, he switches off and can be a little to casual on the ball in midfield, which is probably why he plays at RB or wing back under the last 3 managers
    if he stays or goes is just speculation at this point just like any other rumors of players link to us.

  12. Maitland-Niles players better than the darlings of Arsenal. The darlings of Arsenal are Ozil, Mustafi, Torreira, and Xhaka. These are the guys who are holding the team back, not Maitland-Niles

  13. Tough one, i think AMN has ability but lacks concentration. He has said his preferred role is midfield, he is mobile can tackle and has energy. He hasn’t been given much of a chance under Arteta, so he obviously doesn’t fancy him. He could well leave and go on to be a decent player but if he isn’t rated by Arteta, he has no chances at Arsenal.

  14. I think if Guendouzi will leave this summer, then we should keep Ainsley. Even if we don’t want him now, a little bit of safety backup never hurts. At worst, if injuries run amok, we have a versatile player capable of playing in multiple positions. If we want to sell, however, we have to sell wisely and for the right amount as he was revealed to be the most valuable of our academy players recently here. Also we should definitely add some kind of clause, like buyback or first refusal. The guy is gifted and a massive asset, and how Arsenal treat these assets will go a long way to show whether we will compete in future seasons or not.

  15. A big fat NO! I rate him very very high and he will prove my faith either at Arsenal or at another club. If we keep Willock and the other two kids and let Niles go I will retire from watching football.

  16. I dont get why we dont loan out players more. AMN should have had 2 full seasons of first team football by now. If thats in the Premier league, Championship, German league, Dutch league or any other league, I dont care. But sitting on our bench for 3 seasons wont develop his full potential. Same goes for Nelson, Willock and Nketiah..

    We already made that mistake before with Gnabry. If we loaned him for 2 years to a German club instead of keeping him on the bench and then sending him to Tony Pullis’ rugbyteam, maybe he saw more future at our club and signed an extension.

    Im happy to see that we at least we are learning a bit and agreed to send out ESR on loan. But regular first team football is so important for players’ development.

  17. AMN was the victim of Bellerin’s knee injury. Just because he was able to play in that position he was used by the club. He did his bit and should now be rewarded for his loyalty. Instead of being loaned out to get experience in his preferred position he knuckled down and did his bit for the club. I’m not surprised he’s disillusioned and wants to move somewhere he’ll be appreciated.

  18. It depends on other players available at his positions.
    – Right back: Bellerkn and Cedric, if none of them (Bellerin) would leave, he can’t keep playing third choice, an academy player can fill the third choice position.
    – Midfield, honestly, I ve never watched him in that position, but obviously he is not high in the pecking order.

    A loan can be useful for him, otherwise, if you can hire better or loan is not possible, cash in.

  19. Great player with huge potential, I will say keep him he is eager to play in any position!

  20. I don’t think Arteta will sell AMN…. however the coach wants an improvement…..I think it’s his passing game that needs to improve…..

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