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Ainsley Maitland-Niles ‘plotting Arsenal exit’ this summer after 18 years at Gunners

Ainsley Maitland-Niles looks set to leave Arsenal this summer after 18 years when his loan with West Bromwich Albion concludes.

The 23-year-old who came through the Gunners academy after joining as a child, has two years remaining on his current contract, however, the Telegraph report that no deal is forthcoming from the club.

Maitland-Niles, who can play in midfield and at right-back, made the temporary switch to the Hawthorns in January has played in every game for the strugglers having struggled to nail down a place under Mikel Arteta.

Sam Allardyce has chosen to deploy the player in his preferred central midfield role but he now accepts his next move will likely see him back at full back.

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Maitland-Niles played at left back for the Gunners in the FA Cup final victory over Chelsea last year leading to interest from Premier League rivals Wolves.

But a potential £20million move broke down as Arteta indicated the player was part of his plans going forward.

And after an impressive start to the campaign, Maitland-Niles’ popularity among Arsenal fans grew due to his languid but successful penalty technique in two shootout victories over Liverpool in the Community Shield and League Cup.

His performances even caught the attention of Gareth Southgate but having been included in England squads for the Nations League fixtures at the tail end of last year, he was left out of the recent World Cup qualifying matches.

While this omission indicates he is unlikely to feature at the European Championship later this year, Maitland-Niles will be hoping a move will help him fight his way back into contention for his country and possibly earn a spot in the World Cup squad in 2020.

Wolves reportedly remain keen on the player, with Leicester and Southampton also said to be in the frame for his signature.

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