Ainsley Maitland-Niles signed Rome for AS Roma for the rest of the season on loan and he is expected to make the squad for their game against Juventus on Sunday.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles has joined AS Roma on loan for the rest of the season after the promise of more minutes at Arsenal failed to materialise.
The paperwork was filed with Serie A a few days ago, Mikel Artea spoke about the deal at his pre-Nottingham Forest press conference (read about that below), and Maitland-Niles was already pictured in Rome as we all waited for the official confirmation.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles has joined Roma on loan.
— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) January 7, 2022
Speaking at his pre-Nottingham Forest press conference, Mikel Arteta confirmed the move.
“Ainsley came to me and explained the reasons why he thought the best thing for him and his career was to move away,” Arteta said.
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) January 8, 2022
“He believed the opportunity to play and work under Jose was a really good opportunity for him.”
Speaking to the official Roma site, Maitland-Niles said, “I am just delighted to be here and can’t wait to crack on.
“I want to help the team and show what I can do as a player.
“Thank you to the fans for the support they’ve already shown me – I hope we can go on to do something great by the end of the season.”
“With Maitland-Niles we are bringing to Roma a young player who fits well with the profile we were looking for to improve the squad and cover a number of different positions,” said the club’s General Manager, Tiago Pinto.
“When we spoke to Ainsley we were really struck by his enthusiasm about the prospect of joining our group and having the chance to work with Jose Mourinho.”
While Roma wanted to include an option to buy the player at the end of the season, Arsenal would not agree to one, perhaps due to the Italians always trying to lowball Arsenal.
It appears that Maitland-Niles will be going to Serie A as a right-back but we shall wait to see how his loan pans out. Roma reportedly pushed the paperwork through quickly in order to allow him to be included in their squad for the game against Juventus on Sunday.
Roma will be without right-back Rick Karsdorp, who is serving a suspension after picking up two yellows against Milan.
His deal with Arsenal expires at the end of the 22/23 season and it is believed Arsenal will receive around €500,000 as a loan fee with a further €500,000 for bonuses.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles is right to be feeling a little misled after the promise of more minutes has been broken.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles ended his time at Arsenal (for now) Covid, but, even if he hadn’t, it’s doubtful we would have seen him much.
The 24-year-old was happy to leave Arsenal last summer, but the club, Mikel Arteta in particular, convinced him to stay with the promise of more minutes.
So far this season, Maitland-Niles has played 472 minutes, has started just four games (two in the league, two in the League Cup), and has played the full 90 just three times.
He averages around 43 minutes per appearance, of which he’s had 11.
Those aren’t great stats and they are even worse than last season before he was sent on loan to West Brom.
Maitland-Niles had played 16 times for Arsenal by then, totalling up nearly three times the minutes compared to this season (1,183).
He also played the full 90 eight times and averaged 74 minutes per appearance.
Despite assurances, he was moving further away from the first-team rather more central to it.
Granit Xhaka’s injury came and went and Maitland-Niles barely got a look in.
He is out of contract in 2023 but I would very much doubt he will be an Arsenal player by when that year rolls around and who could blame him for leaving?