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Arsenal Midfielder Moves to Serie A on Loan Till the End of the Season for More Game-time

Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Roma, Nottingham Forest

Ainsley Maitland-Niles completed his move to Roma on Saturday. The English defensive midfielder has agreed to a loan move to the Serie A club until the end of the season, but the deal doesn’t include an option to buy.

The 24-year-old had fallen out of favour under Mikel Arteta, making just 8 Premier League appearances this season with only 2 starts. The midfielder decided to embark on a new journey at the Italian capital, with the hope of finding more game-time.

Maitland-Niles, Roma
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Maitland-Niles, finding opportunities to be limited at the North London club, will join compatriots Chris Smalling and Tammy Abraham at AS Roma. The London-born came through the Hale End academy, making his senior team debut for Arsenal in 2017.

He was sent on loan to West Brom in the second half of last season. AMN made 15 Premier League appearances for the Baggies but returned to Emirates at the end of the season to try and cement a position under Arteta. But the situation didn’t get any better for the player as he fell further down the pecking order.

Addressing the speculative move, Mikel Arteta said:

“Ainsley came to me and explained the reasons why he thought that the best thing for him in his career right now is to move away. He believes that the opportunity to move to Rome and working under Jose is a really good one.”

“We already had this conversation in the summer and we decided to keep him at the club and assess the situation in December, but with the amount of minutes that he has played, he’s entitled to that opportunity.”

“When a player feels that way and has a strong argument like he has, it’s very difficult to turn it away, so we decided to let him go and we wish him all the best.”

Ainsley Maitland-Niles instantly made his debut for Roma, making his first appearance against Juventus on Sunday. In a tightly packed game, Jose Mourinho’s side squandered a two-goal lead to suffer a 4-3 defeat against the Old Lady.

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The game saw seven goals, a red card and a penalty miss. It wasn’t the start Maitland-Niles was looking for in Italy as Roma failed to find their feet in the second half. The Englishman started the game as a right-back, finishing with the third-highest pass completion along with Manuel Locatelli. He also made the second-highest touches in the attacking third for Roma.

He is only 24 and can still become a permanent midfield option at Arsenal if he develops his game under Jose Mourinho. The more interesting fact is his contract does not include a buy option, hence if he ups his game, he can still be a lucrative player for the Gunners.

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