Arsenal have doubts as struggling Prem side ask for wantaway star

Date published: Friday 29th January 2021 11:00 - Samuel Bannister

West Brom are one of the teams interested in Arsenal midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles, according to a report.

It recently emerged that Maitland-Niles is looking to leave Arsenal on loan for the rest of the season. He has made 11 appearances in the Premier League so far this season, but only five of those have been starts.

With his place in England’s squad for Euro 2020 at risk, he would be open to playing elsewhere for the remainder of the season.

Maitland-Niles was a target for Wolves in the summer transfer window. The Mirror hinted that they could still have an interest.

However, another Midlands club seem to have made a stronger move. According to The Athletic, West Brom have made an approach for the 23-year-old.

Sam Allardyce is on the lookout for reinforcements who can help their battle against relegation. They are currently seven points from safety.

Maitland-Niles is near the top of their wish-list, the report claims. However, The Athletic warn that Arsenal are reluctant to send him to the Hawthorns.

Arsenal are aware that being involved in a relegation battle would not be ideal for Maitland-Niles. What’s more, West Brom play a very different style of football.

The five-cap England international is still seen as someone with a long-term future at the Emirates Stadium. Therefore, any next move must follow their strategy for his development.

With that in mind, Arsenal could even send Maitland-Niles to a direct rival if it would benefit his progress more.

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The report from The Athletic adds that an unnamed club currently in the top four in the Premier League have also shown an interest. That would mean either Manchester City, Manchester United, Leicester or Liverpool.

It is claimed that Arsenal would be more inclined to send Maitland-Niles to a club of that level, even though they are competing for a European place as well.

Arteta concerned about Maitland-Niles

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has admitted that they are looking for a solution for Maitland-Niles. That could still be at the Emirates, though.

Asked about his situation, he said: “Yes, it is a concern when there is international football involved as well and the chance to reach that opportunity.

“I understand that Ainsley wants more minutes and what he needs to do is fight, train and challenge his teammates and show us that he can be one of our starters.”

Either way, it is clear that the academy graduate needs to find a way to get on the pitch more.

READ MORE: Arteta claims Arsenal starlet Bukayo Saka has unusual leadership qualities

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