Leeds United-linked Ainsley Maitland-Niles wants showdown talks over his Arsenal future
Leeds United-linked Ainsley Maitland-Niles has demands clarity over his Arsenal future ahead of the summer transfer window.
The 23-year-old, who spent the second half of last season on loan at relegated West Brom, is seeking assurances from Gunners boss Mikel Arteta ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.
In an interview with the Mirror, the same publication that reported the Whites’ interest in the five-capped England international in April, he has hinted that his future could lie away from north London.
“I need to speak to the manager and see where he sees me, see what ideas he has and we can move on from there,” he said.
“But I hope I can get some clarity for me, as in the player that he sees me, the role he sees me in and we can take it from there.
“If it’s not going to work there then there are always other clubs that will take you and I like to think that I’ve done enough in the Premier League in the last half of the season to have other clubs interested in me.
“They can tell me whether they’ve got plans to play me in the future or if they want to sell me. I’ve heard they want to make some space and some money so I’m not sure.”
Ticks a lot of boxes
Young, skilful, athletic, versatile. Those are just a few key characteristics of Maitland-Niles, who has been called “phenomenal” by former Leeds goalkeeper Paul Robinson [Football Insider].
He may be a player that has flattered to deceive at times, but there’s no denying that he is a player with immense promise, exemplified in England manager Gareth Southgate’s faith in him.
His best position is yet to be determined – he seems to think his best role is in the middle of midfield, which is where he shone in parts for West Brom last season, while Arsenal and England have utilised him more in defence, as a marauding wing-back.
The reality is that, like many modern-day footballers, he is adaptable and can flit between positions at will. Remind you of anyone?
We have our own Mr Versatile in Stuart Dallas who has covered every inch of the pitch for us since he joined from Brentford. Having another player in the same mould wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Even if Maitland-Niles is insistent on a midfield role, we think Marcelo Bielsa could work wonders with such a talent, and it’s a position where we are light.