An Everton swoop for a free agent recently linked with Arsenal has been touted in a move that could inadvertently exact revenge, per a report.
The Toffees and Gunners converged as the window neared it’s conclusion over Ainsley Maitland-Niles. The 24-year-old’s desperation to find regular first-team football was evidenced by an Instagram post that read: “All I wanna do is go where I’m wanted and where I’m gonna play.”
Everton emerged as a contender to give Maitland-Niles what he craved via the loan route. However, with Hector Bellerin bound for Real Betis, Arsenal blocked the versatile star’s exit to Goodison Park.
Whether Arsenal and Mikel Arteta now plan to give Maitland-Niles more opportunities, only time will tell. But a recent report detailing their alleged interest in former Tottenham right-back Serge Aurier would suggest the contrary.
The Frenchman, 28, mutually agreed with Spurs the termination of his contract during the week.
Sky Sports then revealed Aurier would be open to a joining North London rivals Arsenal. The right-back is understood to wish to remain in England.
They too are short of genuine depth at right-back after Arsenal blocked their Maitland-Niles approach. Seamus Coleman remains the club’s first-choice, though neither Jonjoe Kenny or centre-half Mason Holgate have stood out when deputising in the Irishman’s absence.
As such, the Express state Aurier could ‘plug the gap’ with the timing of Aurier’s exit perfect for Rafael Benitez.
Given Aurier’s status as a free agent, he is free to sign with any club despite the British transfer window closing on Tuesday.
Wenger delivers verdict on dismal Arsenal start
Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal are “in good shape” despite their shocking start to the new Premier League season.
An opening-day defeat to Brentford has been followed by defeats to Champions League holders Chelsea and reigning Premier League champions Manchester City. In fact the Gunners are yet to score and sit bottom of the table on -9 goal difference. However, they did knock six past WBA in the Carabao Cup.
Nevertheless, Arsenal legend Wenger is convinced the club is in good hands.
“Today the club is in good shape,” Wenger told Bild Live on Friday. “They had two tough games [against Chelsea and Manchester City], the team has potential and I hope they can come back.”
Wenger was also asked about an unlikely return to The Emirates. He added: “I’m 71. I’ve given this club the best years of my life. At the moment I’m just a fan.”