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?
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