Man Utd among clubs considering Ainsley Maitland-Niles transfer

14 May 2021 02:10

Manchester United are said to be considering a summer transfer for Ainsley Maitland-Niles - but are joined by several Premier League clubs in keeping tabs on the Arsenal man.

The 23-year-old struggled for minutes under Mikel Arteta earlier in the season and was shipped off to West Brom in January, where he has since featured heavily under Sam Allardyce. His performances haven't been enough to drag the Baggies out of the relegation mire, but he has impressed individually in his 12 appearances in the West Midlands.

Central to his revival has been a move into his favoured position. While he was mostly used as a full-back at Arsenal, Maitland-Niles views himself as a central midfielder, and West Brom have granted his wish by making him a mainstay at the heart of their midfield.

It's believed the Arsenal academy graduate doesn't see a future for himself at the Emirates as a report from The Telegraph claimed in April that he wants to capitalise on the substantial interest in his signature while his stock is high.

But it's believed that wherever he goes next, he wants to play regularly in midfield. And that doesn't look particularly good for United's reported interest.

The Mail are claiming that the Red Devils are interested in signing him this summer, but view him primarily as a full-back. It's a similar story for Everton, who are said to see his versatility as a major plus, but feel his best position is on the right of defence.

If he wants to remain in midfield, then, he may have to move elsewhere.

Leeds, Leicester, Southampton and Wolves are among the other clubs who have been linked, though it is unclear where any of those clubs see him playing.

Maitland-Niles has made 121 appearances for Arsenal so far but said in March he felt he was 'rotting away' at the club before he secured a loan move away.

"It’s another loan deal, you are going to end up going back to the club eventually," he said. "It was just more of a chance for me to show what I’m capable of rather than sitting on the bench for the rest of the season and rotting away.

"The main reason was being able to play as there’s nothing better than playing. I felt it would be great to experience the work of people trying to save their careers and stay in the Premier League. I think it was the perfect fit for me to be here and show them the qualities I can produce."

Source: 90min