It has been reported recently that Mikel Arteta would like Ainsley Maitland-Niles to stay at Arsenal, and this was further supported by the fact the Spaniard started him in the FA Cup final. However the latest news suggests that he could actually leave in the transfer window.
According to The Telegraph, the Gunners are looking to raise funds as recent events have hit the North London side very hard financially. This was shown by the fact that earlier this week they announced 55 redundancies among non-playing staff.
Due to this, the hierarchy at the club have gone against Arteta and made the decision to make Maitland-Niles available for transfer this summer so that they can raise some much-needed funds. He is valued at £13.05 million on Transfermarkt. Fellow Premier League side Brighton have expressed an interest in the player.
It will be something of a shame for Arsenal if he departs due to the versatility he brings to the squad. Maitland-Niles has played at right-back, centre-midfield and left midfield this season. He has only made 15 league starts this term, so it wouldn’t be the biggest loss, but he is definitely seen as someone the club can rely on if needed.
He is also only 22, so has a long career ahead of him to reach the potential he has and become an even better player. However the biggest issue in this situation is the fact that Arteta wants him at the club and this could now cause a rift between the hierarchy and manager. It would also mean they have lost some squad depth, and with the reported financial struggles the club has, it is possible that they might not be able to find a replacement.
There are players at the club who it would be more understandable to try and sell before the Englishman, including Mesut Ozil, who has not featured since football returned, and Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who is not favoured by the manager.
Hopefully the club can raise funds elsewhere as there is definitely a career for Maitland-Niles at the club and he adds some crucial squad depth.
Gunners fans, what are your thoughts on this news? Let us know down below!
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