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?