According to The Athletic, Southampton are now leading the race for Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
Saints eye Maitland-Niles
Maitland-Niles have played just 11 times for Arsenal in the Premier League so far this campaign, with only five of them being starts (Transfermarkt). As such, he is set to be loaned out until the end of the campaign.
West Bromwich Albion are also interested in the 23-year-old, but Mikel Arteta is said to be eager to see him move to St. Mary’s Stadium rather than the Hawthorns, thus putting Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side in the driver’s seat.
Fantastic for squad depth
It is surprising that Maitland-Niles has been so underused so far this campaign, especially considering the Gunners rejected a £15m bid from Wolves for him last summer (Sky Sports). Previously compared to Gareth Bale by Tony Cascarino in 2019, he has made 121 appearances for the Gunners during his career to date.
He is a versatile player who can play both in central midfield and at right-back, and that could be put to good use by Ralph Hasenhuttl. The Austrian boss could do with some cover in central midfield for James Ward-Prowse, while Maitland-Niles could also provide an alternative to Kyle Walker-Peters, who is currently out injured (The Daily Echo).
Would you liked to have signed Maitland-Niles?
As we approach the business end of the season, this could be a fantastic signing for Saints. It remains to be seen whether they can get anything done before the transfer window closes.
In other news, this Premier League man snubbed a move to Southampton.
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