With Raul gone, will Arteta save Maitland-Niles Arsenal career?

Lifeline For Ainsley? By Dan Smith

There are different theories to why Raul Sanllehi has left Arsenal yet one man who might be content about his departure could be Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

The latest change behind the scenes has led to Edu and Arteta now being in charge of transfers.

Our manager was apparently overruled about Maitland-Niles being offered to clubs, a decision which has divided our fan-base.

Having worked with Pep Guardiola, the Spaniard knows how politics work and is smart enough to pick his battles. So, while he would be adamant we pay Aubameyang what he wants, the future of a makeshift full back might not be a hill you want to die on.

While he was impressed how the player followed his game plan in the FA Cup Semi Final and Final , he might have felt how could he ask his employers to turn down 30 million for a player he is yet to trust to play in his favoured position of midfield?

Now though Arteta has more input, he might have the power to keep the youngster at the Emirates. While it’s not the influence Arsene Wenger had, it’s impressive that after only 8 months as head coach he’s believed in enough to be given this added responsibility,

The structure was meant to be that Arteta would simply work on the training field with any talent brought in but clearly his man management style and the manner in how we won the FA Cup means he has a voice those in power will listen too.

To me it’s crucial that a manager should be working with players he at least approves of, something Unai Emery insists wasn’t the case during his tenure…

Of course, that doesn’t mean Arteta now gets everything he wants. He and Edu will still have to work with a strict budget and our owner is still a man with zero ambition.

So, if our two ex-midfielders want to keep Niles, they will have to sacrifice other transfers or pick someone else to cash in on.

Niles has made it clear long term he doesn’t want to be a left back or right back and with Tierney and Bellerin he won’t be. So Arteta needs to decide whether he’s prepared to give the Englishmen a chance in midfield? If the answer is you don’t think he’s good enough, then 30 million is a lot of money when you consider we don’t know when we will be receiving any match day revenue.

To put that into perspective, that’s the same price Bayern Munich want for Thiago. Maitland-Niles could cover the loan cost for Coutinho. That’s how Arteta has to be thinking in his new role.

It’s easy to make demands from the dugout but now it’s his job to take the emotion out of things and weigh up the pros and cons. If you keep Niles, what’s your idea for him and is it bigger than 30 million?

Or can you simply not see a route into our midfield for him, in which case is it irresponsible not to sell at a time when we are cutting budgets elsewhere?

Do you believe Arteta having more control can save Maitland-Nile’s career?

Be Kind In The Comments

Dan Smith


  1. Dan, if Bellerin (on current form) is all that is standing between AMN and a starting spot he should be retained.
    I can rarely remember a game AMN has played in any position, where he has let the team down. I just wish he looked after his Mum.
    Personally I would keep AMN because of his versatility and the fact he is the better defender, and sell Bellerin
    As for Kroenke, he may have no ambition to win trophies, but if falling down the EPL table, not being able to attract players and failing to play in Europe causes the value of his Arsenal asset to fall by £150 million, he acts.
    Also if the people he entrusts to care and nurture that asset, waste his money, as we have seen he is ruthless.

    1. Ozziegunner, I also wish he take care of his mum, I read an article sometimes ago how his mum doesn’t even have a place to sleep. But to the article, if any club can pay 30million for Niles, I will say we should sell, the truth is he will never be more than a squad player at arsenal.

      1. Dont believe the hype around his mum. He and his brother cut her off as she’s toxic. Numerous cases of her insulting coaches, being abusive (non physical i think)

    2. First game that enters my head is Europa League final where he was poor
      I know what your saying about his mum, I watched an interview she gave on YouTube where she’s sleeping in a storage unit
      Arsenal though released a statement afterwards
      They have zero relationship since he was a child
      Apparently there was drugs involved and she only contacts him for his money . He’s helped I n past but she wasted it

      1. Van Dijk of Liverpool would have looked poor under Emery. Teams were getting 25+ shots at our goal per game under his management. AMN was colossal in Semi and FA Final and still young. Keep hold of him, I say

    3. You mean “ruthless” as in allowing GAZIDIS to waste countless millions across a decade? Not MY interpretation of ruthless. I’d call it asleep at the wheel, Ozzie!

  2. I like AMN but if we are determined to sell him we should insert a buy back clause into any deal. any money raised should go towards getting Partey.

  3. He can play almost in any position, we should keep him and he should focus on becoming a better defender.

  4. I personally think he could be our own party….. I know sounds mad right..but he has it all ..! He’s very comfortable on the ball strong athletic and has great touch he has vision I really think he needs to be hugged and encouraged by the manager I think he’s a diamond in the rough…I so enjoy watching him play..

  5. It’s important to keep Niles as most successful clubs have players who can play in various positions I would rather see him start ahead of willock in midfield who needs a loan

    As for selling Niles to spend 30 million on coutinho . No thanks. Coutinho was an amazing player who built himself after his lack of use at inter, however he became a one trick pony of shooting from distance.

    Which he is good at but he is an individual something arteta and arsenal don’t need

  6. Lets get this clear.AMN has stated categorically that he is prepared to play in any position for Arsenal .To my mind he is our best RB, RWB, and is very effective in man marking ,as he proved against Wolves,Man City and Chelsea.His personal preference is for a midfield role where his pace and energy is an asset which is missing in the preferred duo of Ceballos and Xhaka.He has virtually all the attributes to become a top class player and I will be amazed if Arteta decides to let him go.

  7. Simple
    Keep AMN and sell Kolasinac ‘cos he’s not up to scratch and AMN can play his position better
    Defenders to sell should be


    Don’t know why they bought Soares, waste of money

  8. Great player AMN, very able and gives that solid assurance to the team in attack or in defence. I would definitely keep him.

  9. I think AMN will be Great under Arteta. So hopefully he stays. There are other midfielders to sell. AMN is also homegrown which is not unimportant.

  10. If we can fetch 30m for him, I’d be fine selling but we can’t.

    He could develop into a great utility player. Cover at lb, rb, cdm, box to box and even winger in a game where we will be defending a lot. Our very own Milner. I also think he’s a better rb than Bellerin so I’d consider starting him.

    30m is a good value for him but don’t sell him for 9 million like we always do

  11. Arsenal should keep AMN. When needed, he has proven his worth to the team in the several different positions, that he has been asked to play. Every team, needs to have depth, of which, a good utility player, is of great importance,when their first team players get injured. AMN is still young, and with experience in playing as both a midfielder and defender, he should be developed into a defensive midfielder. He is much a better talent than Sokratis, Mustafi, Holding,Kolasinac and Chambers, all of whom must be sold. Arsenal must not sell AMN.

  12. Last year on this site, Iwobi was slated, this year AMN has been picked, next year who? But to some, Ozil was never a problem and never will be. The next you might read is that Arteta is problem for Ozil’s woes and “be kind in the comments” stuff.

  13. So you think calling someone a makeshift full back is being unkind ?
    He’s not our first choice full back ?
    He’s certainly not our first choice midfielder?
    I stopped when you said he will be better then Kante

    Apart from this I won’t be responding mate
    Many on here praise my work and know I will.debate on facts
    I gave you every chance to debate last time and you showed so little knowledge
    I would ask things like , what have you seen to say he’s better then Kante ? and you attack me not make any points
    I have a rule that once someone attacks me or is aggressive they have lost an argument and I hope Admin is keeping an eye on you
    There’s a difference between giving your point of view and just trying to have a row for attention
    E.g. , feeble , awful and you were doing this previously. You admit yourself you want readers to see what ?.That Niles is our second choice fullback ?
    We are two arsenal fans so you shouldn’t be so angry
    Most articles on here will be based on news / reports
    Have you wrote to them so angry ?
    If my articles are so bad why read them?
    So won’t be responding anymore

    1. BTW Dan – happy to help you out regarding the idea for this article.
      This is exactly what I advised one of your followers, Lenohappy, to write, rather than yet another article about Ozil.

      1. Hi Pat – actually you’ve just read the condensed version!!!

        My reply above is just a summation of my many replies to Dan 9 days ago and lasting four days which is why you probably didn’t see the saga unfold as you will have moved on to other articles day by day.

  14. Good balanced article Dan, my vote is keep. I agree that he’s our Milner who I think has been a major factor in the pool’s success this season.

  15. Let’s ask readers
    Is AMN ( who can’t get into our current midfield) better then Kante ?
    Will be writing article about this lol.

    1. “Is AMN ( who can’t get into our current midfield) better then Kante ?”
      Or, to put it another way:
      Is AMN, who had an excellent game on the left of our midfield in the cup final, better then Kante, who didn’t actually manage to make Chelsea’s starting lineup and started on the bench?
      Still, it’s a bit difficult to compare the two as AMN has not been played in his preferred position due to his versatility.
      Imagine if Arteta played AMN in midfield and played Willock as left or right full back – disaster at the back for Arsenal!
      Imagine if Arteta played AMN in midfield and played Xhaka as left wing back – disaster down the left for Arsenal!
      So, because of AMN’s versatility and the one-trick pony status of other players, playing AMN in his favoured position is sacrificed for the good of the team. Nothing wrong with that of course but it doesn’t reveal how good he could be if played in the centre, as he did against Pogba and co. in the Man Utd match.
      Kante as left or right full back? Kante as a wing back?
      Give me AMN any time!

      1. I respect your opinion
        Just think theres been times where we had our first choice left back and right back playing and still he hasn’t played midfield
        So that’s why I can’t say hes better then Kante
        Hope he proves me wrong

        1. At his peak Kante was excellent and many of us wondered why we got Xhaka instead.
          Unfortunately for him age and injuries have now kicked in and he’s now gone off the boil a little.
          No one can possibly know if AMN will ever be as good as Kante was in his heyday. Just hoping AMN gets the chance to play in his preferred position next season – then we can better see how good (or not) he is when played there.
          Just hope he doesn’t turn up in the middle of the park for one of our close rivals!

  16. Eeeh! People arteta should wark on the transfer business as first as he can with his board if not competition for the top four should be forgoten time again.

  17. arteta should sell off elininy,miktharin,lacazete,sokratis,for their transfer boost to bring in husmen aouor,party and couthino.

  18. AMN should have been in the team next to Xhaka in place of Guendouchebag. He is Arsenal to the bone, is quicker, can tackle without getting carded and is far more agile than the undisciplined French player. I honestly feel that he could shine in a midfield enforcer role. Lets be honest, we aint getting D S back and everyone else, including Thomas Partey is either overpriced or not as good as AMN.

    1. Trog – my own thought is that as well as Guendouzi AMN should have been in the team in place of Xhaka.

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