Ainsley Maitland-Niles has been strongly linked with Everton the last day or so. According to multiple sources, the Toffees made a concrete offer for the services of the 24-year-old, aiming to boost the competition on their right defensive flank.
Maitland-Niles is keen to leave the Emirates, he made that clear himself with a post on Instagram.
“All I wanna do is go where I’m wanted and where I’m gonna play,” he wrote, tagging the club’s official account. However, Paul Joyce of The Times says the club have informed him of their desire for him to stay put.
Nonetheless, it seems Arsenal are yet to respond to Everton’s offer, which comprises of a season-long loan with an option to make the deal permanent next summer.
Maitland-Niles spent the second half of last season playing regularly for West Bromwich Albion on loan. He is now back with the Gunners and has appeared twice on the pitch, but his place in Mikel Arteta’s team is far from guaranteed. He was brought on as a substitute on both occasions, playing around half an hour in the 6-0 triumph over West Brom in the Carabao Cup last week, and making a 19-minute cameo in the 5-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester City in the Premier League.
Maitland-Niles is known for his versatility. He was often used as a right-back in the past, even though he favoured a midfield role. Now, however, The Athletic’s David Ornstein says the player has told the manager he would like to focus on the right defensive flank and develop in that direction.
With Hector Bellerin, Calum Chambers and Cedric Soares in the squad, it would seem that Arsenal’s right-back department doesn’t need anyone else. However, Bellerin is desperate to leave the club at the moment, while neither Chambers nor Cedric have impressed so far. Arteta has even used newly signed left-back Nuno Tavares in the role.