Newcastle United are reportedly eyeing up a potential move to sign Ainsley Maitland-Niles in the January transfer window.
The Lowdown: Opportunity?
There may be a good opportunity for the St James’ Park club to sign the 24-year-old next month, as The Daily Mail have reported that he is ‘irritated’ by the lack of action that he is currently getting at the Emirates Stadium.
Does Maitland-Niles start for Newcastle?
The Englishman has not played in the Premier League since the Gunners’ 4-0 drubbing at Liverpool last month, and he has started just two games in total, only playing the full 90 minutes once (Transfermarkt).
Given that he only has 18 months left on his current deal, Mikel Arteta’s team may look at January as the best possible time to sell.
The Latest: Newcastle monitoring
According to The Daily Mail, Newcastle are now ‘monitoring’ Maitland-Niles’ situation in north London ahead of a potential swoop in the winter window.
However, Everton could revisit the interest that they had previously showed in him in the summer, and a number of other clubs could also come in if he is made available.
The Verdict: Smart move
The Magpies should be familiar with Maitland-Niles and what he could offer given that they have faced a few times in the top flight. In fact, he has won more matches against them (five) than any other team in his career so far (Transfermarkt).
Nonetheless, despite his lack of playing time so far this season, he is still a ‘huge talent’ as Arteta has pointed out, and has probably not reached his full potential yet at 24 years of age. His ability to play in a number of different roles on the pitch would also be very useful to Eddie Howe if Newcastle start to pick up a lot of injuries or suspensions.
If Maitland-Niles can rekindle the form which got him in the England squad under Gareth Southgate last year, then he would surely be a valuable asset on Tyneside.
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