Atletico Madrid are interested in signing Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles on loan in the January transfer window, according to a report from The Daily Mail.
The versatile Englishman was heavily linked with a move away from Arsenal in the summer. Wolverhampton Wanderers were in deep discussions with the Gunners and it looked like an agreement would be reached. But, Mikel Arteta changed his mind in the last minute. (Sky Sports)
Maitland-Niles’ performances in the semi-final and the final of the FA Cup last season were simply brilliant. He was excellent in our Community Shield win against Liverpool as well, and keeping him was clearly the right decision.
However, the report claims that the Englishman is getting more and more frustrated due to lack of game time. He has started just four times in the Premier League this term – two of which have come in our last two games.
Atleti are reportedly looking to take advantage of that situation. Thomas Partey’s former side will be without Kieran Trippier for the next 10 weeks after the former Tottenham man was found guilty of breaching FA’s betting regulations.
Maitland-Niles would definitely be a solid replacement to Trippier. His versatility, quality on the ball and his positional awareness are perfect for a team like Atleti, but letting him go would be a terrible decision.
Arsenal shouldn’t even consider Atletico Madrid’s offer
Maitland-Niles certainly has his flaws but he is still one of our finest talents. He has pushed Hector Bellerin out of the squad in our last two games, and it won’t be a surprise if he does the same against Chelsea this weekend.
The Englishman also gives Arteta a number of options. He can play in both full-back positions, on both wings and in central midfield. He has been incredible in the middle of the park in the Europa League this season, and we should consider giving him more chances there.
Maitland-Niles’ versatility is one of our biggest assets. Letting leave on loan next month makes zero sense and Arsenal should not even look at Atleti’s offer should it arrive in the coming days.