Arteta: 'Still some things' for Arsenal to do in window
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Arsenal are mulling over an approach made by Everton regarding their utility man, Ainsley Maitland-Niles. With deadline day drawing ever-closer, the Gunners are expected to lay their cards on the table in talks with the Toffees for a youngster who has impressed at Premier League level, without nailing down a spot in Arsenal’s first-team.
The decision to let the 23-year-old go would be somewhat surprising, given the host of midfielders who fled the Emirates earlier this summer.
Joe Willock, Dani Ceballos, Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira are among those to be playing elsewhere this season, leaving numbers somewhat scarce.
Boss Mikel Arteta has tried to mitigate this by bringing in Albert Sambi Lokonga and Martin Odegaard, as well as keeping hold of Granit Xhaka.
With the Gunners’ situation now looking slightly rosier in terms of midfield numbers, the club are now considering Everton’s approach, according to The Athletic.
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As the transfer deadline lies in less than 48 hours, Everton are expected to learn the fate of their interest fairly quickly.
Having spent well over £100million this summer, offloading peripheral figures could be a smart move by Arsenal in order to sweeten their financial situation going forward.
The proposal from the Toffees is reportedly a season-long loan deal with an option to buy.
Maitland-Niles was loaned to West Bromwich Albion for the second half of last season where he impressed in midfield, although Arteta has only gradually phased him back into the side this campaign.
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Used mainly as an option from the bench, and often filling in at full-back, a move away from the Emirates would likely give the youngster greater opportunities to shine in midfield.
If the Gunners respond positively to Everton’s approach, it would mark their third signing of an Arsenal player in recent years after Theo Walcott and Alex Iwobi.
It would also represent the latest instalment in a busy summer since new boss Rafa Benitez settled down in the hotseat, with the likes of Andros Townsend and Demarai Gray having a positive impact on the side.
Although the first three games of the Premier League season have left Everton’s fans in a better mood than Arsenal’s thanks to matters on the pitch, it would still be tough for 23-year-old Maitland-Niles to leave the club he joined at the age of six.
After two separate loan spells, however, he has still not established himself as a regular under Arteta, and the time may now be right to prove himself elsewhere.
Unbeaten in three games under the tutelage of a manager with serious pedigree, there would certainly be worse places for Maitland-Niles to do that than Goodison Park.
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