Leeds and Crystal Palace are two of the latest clubs understood to be looking at Ainsley Maitland-Niles after his impressive loan spell at West Brom.
The Arsenal man has been in good form at The Hawthorns, and according to the Daily Mirror, Palace are the latest Premier League club to show an interest in the 23-year-old. Leeds are also believed to be tracking the versatile star, who will have two years left on his Arsenal deal at the end of the season.
Maitland-Niles moved in January to get regular football and he has proved his worth for the Baggies. He has made nine appearances in a central midfield role under Sam Allardyce.
French club Monaco are also watching the player, according to the source, while Wolves were keen on a potential deal last summer.
Maitland-Niles ended up staying at Arsenal but a lack of opportunities saw him push for a loan move in January. And the opportunity to play in midfield ultimately swung it for West Brom with several other clubs interested, including Southampton, Newcastle and Leicester.
Speaking to talkSPORT in January (via the Daily Mail), Maitland-Niles revealed the reasoning behind his winter move after declaring he was capable of far more than simply “rotting away” on Arsenal’s bench.
“It’s another loan deal, you are going to end up going back to the club eventually,” he said.
“It was just more of a chance for me to show what I’m capable of other than sitting on the bench for the rest of the season and rotting away.
“The main reason was being able to play as there’s nothing better than playing. I felt it would be great to experience the work of people trying to save their careers and stay in the Premier League.
“I think it was the perfect fit for me to be here and show them the qualities I can produce.”
Arteta supporting Maitland-Niles’ growth
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta did not give Maitland-Niles many opportunities and often used him at wing back. And so his long-term future at The Emirates would seem unlikely.
Arteta though has kept the door open for the player, who has been capped five times by England.
“Ainsley is a very talented player and we are proud of his hard work and development with us,” he told Arsenal.com in February.
“This decision to go on loan to West Bromwich Albion for the rest of this season is to support Ainsley and his growth further.
“He will be working at a very good club in the Premier League and we all wish him the best of luck during his time at the Hawthorns.”