Not so long ago Arsenal fans used to talk excitedly about Ainsley Maitland-Niles, and his obvious talent saw him elevated into the Arsenal first team in a makeshift right-back role. He did okay, he held his own but instead of embracing the opportunity, he complained to just about anyone who would listen that it wasn’t his favoured position.
It was also rumoured that his attitude wasn’t right in training and that he didn’t show the appetite that his manager insisted on and gradually the door closed. Two of Arteta’s non-negotiables had been breached, but even then, Maitland-Niles received an unexpected lifeline from WBA and Sam Allardyce.
He did okay on occasion, but he didn’t tear up any trees even in his preferred midfield role. We now hear several clubs have expressed interest and that he could even feature in a deal with Leicester for James Maddison, but that sounds speculative.
Let’s assume Arsenal don’t replace Hector Bellerin who has apparently requested a transfer. Arsenal would be left with Cedric and Callum Chambers which is hardly a solid cover. Both have had good games, but they have also appeared average, ordinary and short of what’s really required, that could be good news for AMN if he isn’t ushered through the exit door.
Transfer news LIVE: Ainsley Maitland-Niles wanted by 'numerous' Premier League clubs as Arsenal star attracts interest
— Daily Record Sport (@Record_Sport) July 26, 2021
However, opportunities are only any good if players take them and invest themselves wholeheartedly in the cause, something Arteta wants to see from all his players but is Maitland-Niles capable of putting the side before himself? That’s the second big question after finding out if he is going to still be in North London when the first whistle is blown.
Further questions about the player surfaced when it was reported that his £105,000 Mercedes G-Class ended up on its side after a collision with another car at around 6 am. Was it another case of indiscipline or the wild side of Maitland-Niles making itself known?
Arteta remains tight-lipped on the player’s future at the club, but it would appear that the doors of the last chance saloon are not open for business anymore and should AMN, by some stretch of the imagination get another chance, he will have to show more professionalism than he has to date.
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I suspect he’ll be moved on as another young player that had promise but lacked commitment and application. Another casualty who fell into the trap of believing the hype before making his mark by letting his skills do the talking. Not everyone is a Smith Rowe or Saka.
What are your thoughts? Is he still good enough for Arsenal? Should he be sold? Would it be a mistake to sell him to another Premier League club? Let us know.
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