Arsenal star wants January exit with Premier League loan possible

Date published: Thursday 28th January 2021 1:29 - Samuel Bannister

Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Eddie Nketiah, Mikel Arteta, Dani Ceballos Arsenal

Ainsley Maitland-Niles could ask Arsenal to leave on loan before the end of the transfer window, according to a report.

The versatile academy graduate has made 11 appearances in the Premier League so far this season, but only five of those have been starts.

At the age of 23, he would prefer to be playing more to continue his development. Indeed, he was linked with an exit in the summer transfer window.

At the time, Wolves were keen on a potential deal. Now, the Mirror claim Maitland-Niles could seek to leave Arsenal on loan.

Wolves are still apparently interested, but those links are at an early stage. Nothing is suggested of a concrete offer, or who else may be in the race to sign him.

However, Maitland-Niles now thinks he has to leave Arsenal on loan to boost his chances of making the England squad for Euro 2020.

He made five caps for England last year, but his hopes of adding to them at this summer’s competition will fade if he does not play more regularly. Gareth Southgate will not call up players who are not featuring heavily for their clubs.

Maitland-Niles is well aware of this and for that reason, he is willing to take some time away from Arsenal. He has been at the club since joining their academy in 2003, and since then, has only spent the 2015-16 season out on loan.

His contract at Arsenal still runs until 2023, but he is now considering a temporary solution.

Having only provided one assist in all competitions this season, he will hope to revive his fortunes in the second half of the season. A loan move away from the Emirates Stadium may provide him with the spark he needs to get back to his best.

It is suggested that Arsenal would be open to this solution. They have Cedric Soares to cover in both full-back positions and the arrival of Martin Odegaard boosts them in midfield.

Arteta highlights Odegaard traits

Meanwhile, manager Mikel Arteta has been speaking about what his new recruit Odegaard will bring.

The attacking midfielder has joined until the end of the season on loan from Real Madrid.

Martin Odegaard

Asked about how he could be used, Arteta said: “He’s a specialist to play in the pockets. He can play in the No 8 or 10 positions.

“He can play off the sides. He’s a really creative player who’s really comfortable on the ball in tight spaces.

“He has the capacity to create chances and to score goals. Something that he has improved a lot is his work rate without the ball as well, so it’s another option to give us more creativity for sure in the final third.

“He give us more options to set up in different ways against certain teams.”

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