Ainsley Maitland-Niles ‘preparing to leave Arsenal this summer as Gunners academy product accepts that top level Premier League clubs regard him as a right back with Wolves, Leicester and Southampton interested in versatile star’
- Ainsley Maitland-Niles is preparing to say goodbye to Arsenal this summer
- The 23-year-old joined the club aged 5 and has worked his way to the first team
- However, regular minutes have been hard to come by and he plays at right back
- According to reports, Maitland-Niles accepts top clubs view him as a defender
- Wolves, Leicester and Southampton are all reportedly interested in the star
Ainsley Maitland-Niles is reportedly planning to leave Arsenal this summer, ending his 18-year journey in north London as the Englishman resolves to find regular first team football.
The 23-year-old missed out on Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad for last month’s round of international fixtures, having previously featured in the Three Lions camp.
Maitland-Niles, who joined West Bromwich Albion on loan in January, has operated as a right back for the Gunners while Baggies boss Sam Allardyce has used him in a midfield role.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles is preparing to leave Arsenal this summer after 18 years at the club
The 23-year-old views himself as a midfielder but has been deployed at right back for Arsenal
And The Telegraph reports that while Maitland-Niles sees himself as a midfielder, there is an acceptance that top level clubs view him as a right back, with the Englishman eyeing an exit this summer.
Arsenal received a £20m bid for the 23-year-old from Wolves last summer, with Nuno Espirito Santo an admirer of Maitland-Niles’ versatility in being able to play across a number of positions – a quality that Romain Saiss and Leander Dendoncker also demonstrate.
Maitland-Niles has two years left on his current deal and the same report outlines that, with no plans at present to extend his stay, the Arsenal academy product could say farewell to the club he joined as a 5-year-old.
According to reports, Maitland-Niles accepts that top clubs regard him as a defender
Wolves are among a handful of clubs interested, with his versatility an admirable quality
Wolves are expected to be interested in Maitland-Niles again this coming window, while Leicester City and Southampton are also believed to be keen.
The Arsenal star’s homegrown status could tempt other notable names to come in for him, with Manchester United reportedly looking for cover at right back.
Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta has begun preparations to strengthen at right back this summer. Inter Milan star Achraf Hakimi has been monitored while long-serving defender Hector Bellerin may leave the club.
Arsenal may look to command a high fee for Maitland-Niles, with his versatility an asset that could drive his price up.
Maitland-Niles is currently on loan at West Brom, where he is being played as a midfielder