Arsenal supporters have been reacting to a Sky Sports report that has claimed Ainsley Maitland-Niles is a transfer target for Atletico Madrid.
Supposedly the Spanish side have been monitoring the star’s progress for the past 12 months, and with Kieran Trippier being hit with a 10-week ban, they could now spring into action.
Trippier has been key for Diego Simeone, and the Argentine needs cover for the England international – and Maitland-Niles, theoretically, would suit Atleti’s system.
It could be that Arsenal are opposed to selling him though, with the 23-year-old having looked impressive in recent times.
Maitland-Niles is one of few players to have come in for credit from fans in what’s been a difficult season so far.
Quite a few people have been calling for him to get a run of games in the starting XI ahead of Hector Bellerin.
Maitland-Niles can also offer cover in central midfield, which is his natural position.
One wonders if Maitland-Niles will still be an Arsenal player beyond January, with Wolves having tried and failed to sign him the summer.
The £35,000-a-week star (Spotrac) is clearly a talent, and the fact he doesn’t currently have starter status may well see Atleti and others come calling.
On social media, a number of Arsenal fans weren’t too welcoming of Atletico’s reported interest:
Atlético Madrid want Maitland-Niles on loan?
Bellerín is struggling. Ainsley can also play in midfield. We wouldn’t receive a notable fee. His wage is minimal.
Overall, the deal just makes no sense whatsoever, and that’s exactly why the board will probably consider it.
— Patrick Timmons (@PatrickTimmons1) December 24, 2020
If that lad is good enough to play for Atletico Madrid, then he’s certainly good enough to stay at Arsenal.
This feels like when we decided Aaron Ramsey wasn’t good enough, but Juventus decided he was, so we gave him to them for free.
This makes no sense.
— SamB (@nevernot2gether) December 24, 2020
— Columbus Arsenal (@luvohiostate) December 24, 2020
£35m or no deal.
— My name is Nobody 🐊 (@markus841) December 24, 2020
We’re done as a club if we even consider it
— Craig Randall (@csrandall87) December 24, 2020
No chance lol
— #WillianPropaganda (@OhmyBlymey) December 24, 2020
Bidding starts at £30m @Atleti
— Mbiz 🇨🇭🇿🇲 (@SSaiyanWitcher) December 24, 2020