Ainsley Maitland-Niles is frustrated at his lack of regular playing time this season, following the assurances he received over the summer.
The Daily Mail report that Arsenal will be under pressure to sell Ainsley Maitland-Niles in the January transfer window, given the growing frustration from the player himself about his irregular minutes.
Maitland-Niles was reportedly assured by Mikel Arteta that he would play more minutes this season, after the midfielder made it clear he wanted to leave in the summer.
But things haven’t really panned out the way Arteta seemingly suggested they would. Maitland-Niles has made 11 appearances, but only four of them were starts, and only two of those in the league.
Worse still, the 24-year-old dropped out of the Premier League squad completely against Everton, the first time that’s happened all season. Rather than getting closer to starts, it must feel like he’s moving further away.
Then there’s the fact that Granit Xhaka’s injury has come and gone without the England international getting a run of games. If he wasn’t playing when Xhaka was out, it seems even less likely now.
The only slight hope for some minutes this season is that Maitland-Niles breaks in when Thomas Partey is at AFCON. If he doesn’t, you’d imagine he won’t be playing much at all this season.
Everton were interested in Maitland-Niles over the summer, and the Mail mention their interest again now, but their potential move may be affected by the departure of their director of football.
Newcastle United are another club in the mix, monitoring Maitland-Niles following their change in ownership.
The player’s contract expires in 2023, so it seems like it’s time to either stick-or-twist. If Arsenal aren’t going to use Maitland-Niles more in the second half of the campaign, they may as well field offers to sell.