David Ornstein broke the news last week that Arsenal player Ainsley Maitland-Niles wants to leave the club in pursuit of first team football, and it seems like this has alerted some clubs, in particular Premier League side Brighton.
According to the Evening Standard, Arsenal would like the Englishman to stay but, with no guarantees of consistent first team football at the Emirates Stadium, he will look elsewhere to bolster his career. Brighton have previous in finding talent in players not fancied by bigger clubs as they picked up Tariq Lamptey, who was surplus to requirements at Chelsea, but is now shining at the Amex Stadium.
The Seagulls are currently interested in the player but have yet to make a formal offer, so it will be interesting to see if they take their apparent interest further once the transfer window officially opens. He is valued at £13.05m on Transfermarkt, so the Gunners might be able to get a fair bit of money for the 22-year-old.
Maitland-Niles’ fortunes this season, in which he has mainly been played out of position at right-back, show that Arteta does not favour him in his more desired midfield role. Therefore, it is understandable that the player seemingly wants to leave.
It will be something of a shame for Arsenal if he departs due to the versatility he brings to the squad, although it would not be the biggest loss to the Gunners (he has only made 14 league starts this term), who could try and get some money for him so that they can reinvest it in players who might make more of an impact under Arteta at the Emirates.
However, as he is still quite young, a loan move would be a better idea for Arsenal than dispensing with him outright; and if Maitland-Niles performs consistently for Brighton or another club, he could still have a future at the Gunners.
Gunners fans, would you be in favour of a loan move away for Maitland-Niles? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience