Three-way race for Maitland-Niles on the horizon? - My Arsenal Blog

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Three-way race for Maitland-Niles on the horizon?

Posted on August 10, 2020 by Veselin Trajkovic

As reported by Sky Sports, three clubs are currently preparing offers they intent to send Arsenal’s way for the services of Ainsley Maitlan-Niles.

The news that the 22-year-old is contemplating Arsenal departure was first broken by the ever-reliable David Ornstein for The Athletic in mid-July. The respected journalist wrote that the player was unhappy with a lack of game-time, though head coach Mikel Arteta has given him a fair amount of minutes since then, taking the number of his appearances in the 2019/20 season to a total of 32 in all competitions.

Maitland-Niles indeed seems to have been overtaken by several other academy graduates, most notably Bukayo Saka, Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock. He is therefore apparently ready to leave in search of a regular place in the team.

Brighton and Hove Albion were the first club to reportedly register an interest in signing him, though his versatility – ability to play as a fullback, a wide midfielder and a winger, was always likely to attract attention should Arsenal at any point decide to listed to offers. That has now happened.

It’s been no big secret that Arteta needs to raise some funds for incoming transfers this summer as he strives to form a side ready to compete at top level in 2020/21, and with captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang reportedly closing in on a new £250,000-per-week contract, those funds will have to come from elsewhere.

Matteo Guendouzi is likely to be on the list of outgoing deals after his well-documented disciplinary issues, and with William Saliba to join the ranks for next season, one of the centre-backs, likely Sokratis Papastathopoulos or Shkodran Mustafi, could follow the French midfielder towards the exit door.

Meanwhile, it seems that two Premier League clubs along with one from the Bundesliga are keen on signing Maitland-Niles, who has three years remaining on his Arsenal contract.

 

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