Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ future at Arsenal is uncertain, as he said in a recent interview with The Daily Telegraph.
Maitland-Niles spent the past six months on loan at West Bromwich Albion, where he impressed in central midfield despite failing to save Sam Allardyce’s team from relegation.
Maitland-Niles, who is set to return to Arsenal, has indicated that he would be willing to leave North London in pursuit of more regular first-team play.
He told the Telegraph exclusively:
“If it works out, it works out; if it doesn’t, then say goodbye to Arsenal. It’s been a long road, but one that I’m proud of. Perhaps they still want to accomplish something, and circumstances may change. If not, there are always other teams available.”
Continuing, the 23-year-old stated:
“They can inform me if they intend to use me in the future or if they wish to sell me. I’ve heard they’re looking to clear some space and earn some money, so I’m not certain.”
The Gunners have yet to tell Maitland-Niles of his team assignment, and he believes that the only contact he has received from the club is a pre-season training plan.
Arsenal might use Maitland-Niles as a makeweight in a possible move for Ruben Neves, who has been linked with the club as a replacement for the departing Granit Xhaka.
Wolves were interested in Maitland-Niles in the summer of 2020, and the Evening Standard stated that the midlands club may still be interested.
This may significantly reduce the cost of any move for Neves for the Gunners, who are without the financial benefit of European competition and may be looking to minimize transfer fees.
While the door to Arsenal does not seem to be completely closed for Maitland-Niles, his interview indicates that he will no longer be content to stay on the bench at the Emirates Stadium.