Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Maitland-Niles bid rejected + defensive trio attracting interest

According to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, Arsenal have rejected a bid for Ainsley Maitland-Niles from Wolves because they didn’t meet our asking price.

The Gunners are said to be holding out for £20 million for the versatile 22-year-old and would be willing to let him go as they look to bolster the funds available to Mikel Arteta for his squad rebuild. Two clubs in Germany are also monitoring the player’s situation.

In a sign that a move isn’t as imminent as first thought, Maitland-Niles started Arsenal’s 4-1 win over MK Dons last night as a left wing-back. In recent days, there have also been rumours that Hector Bellerin has been offered to Paris Saint-Germain.

While Cedric Soares is now a Gunner on a permanent basis, it seems hard to believe we’d let two potential right-backs leave unless we have a replacement lined up. If we were placing bets, we’d say Hector is far more likely to stay and that Wolves will end up getting their man.

In other news, Newcastle United are said to be interested in taking Rob Holding on loan for the season. The 24-year-old has attracted covetous glances from Leeds United, who, according to Teamtalk, are also keeping tabs on Calum Chambers. Victor Orta, sporting director at Elland Road, signed him during his time with Middlesbrough.

Given we’ve been hoarding centre-backs like toilet paper on the eve of a pandemic, something is going to have to give in that area of the pitch. It wouldn’t be surprising if both departed.

Sead Kolasinac is another player whose future is in doubt. Sky Sports in Germany said his former club Schalke have approached the player about a return to Gelsenkirchen. Yesterday, they also claimed that AS Roma like his profile. Given his wages, it feels more likely he’d end up in Italy, but we’ll see.

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Is it me but is this the first time weve rejected a bid on a player we want to sell in the PL era? usually someone comes in and we bite their hand off regardless of price!

i say keep him anyway.


I’m a big fan of Heccy and would absolutely love to keep him and Ainsley but as I guess we’re able to gain more money with a Bellerin sale and he’s 3 years older than Ainsley, I’d really think about letting Heccy go and keep Ainsley. Bellerin’s main strength is his speed and I think AMN ist equally fast but has a higher ceiling when it comes to defensive abilities (He needs to work on his crossing but Hector hasn’t been great in that regard too). It’s a bit like the Leno situation. I like him and he’s been briliant… Read more »


AMN doesn’t want to be back up full back , he wants to start in midfield or on the wing. He cant do that at Arsenal , so we should sell him , as he is worth something in the market. also , please don’t call him “Heccy”!


He repeatedly denied that that’s the case and said he’ll play wherever the manager puts him in.
He just previously said that he isn’t a rb by trade, made mistakes while learning the position and was subject to over the top criticizm during that period and a lot of people made a ”I don’t want to play there” statement out of this, which wasn’t fair at all.


yes he did say that, but i think he is looking further down the line in his career and wants to start every week , rather than waiting for injuries or cup games.


You have to earn your starting place everywhere. It’s not like he has a guarantee to start at Wolves or somewhere else. But I think he has good chances to play a lot under Arteta.


If we sold Bellerín for £30-45mn, not only would that be double what Maitland-Niles would get us, it would also open up a pathway for Arteta to promise Maitland-Niles a lot more time on the pitch as a right wing back. Yes, it’s not right wing, but with Pépé seemingly coming centrally more under Arteta (as opposed to hugging the touchline as under Emery), it allows him to work along the entire right wing. With our lack of creativity through the middle, it is a very important role for us and the way we play. If he wants responsibility, there… Read more »


I don’t think he’d be the back up right back if Bellerin was sold.


From what we’ve seen so far, I’d take him ahead of Soares any day.


I don’t want to see either of them sold but I get the impression most of our players are for sale for the right price.

As long as we reinvest the money wisely to make the squad stronger overall it is probably a smart approach.

Johnny 4 Hats

I think you are absolutely right. Bar maybe Pepe, Auba and Saka, I would say every player has a price. I just hope we are able to make the most of a market that is clearly undervaluing talent. If AMN and Guendouzi, two players with an insane amount of first team caps for their age, are only worth £20m then we should no way be paying £45m for Thomas Partey or spending £10m on a Coutinho loan. This window could be a great opportunity for us to get some real value for money and if Stan doesn’t see that and… Read more »

Crash Fistfight

Yet some fella from QPR I’ve never seen is supposedly worth £14m. I don’t get it.

Johnny 4 Hats

I know. It’s crazy and illogical. I remember when Ospina was sold for £4m and in the transfer window before Kepa was bought for £71m despite Ospina being more experienced and having better stats. A lot of it is down to which club holds the cards. Everyone knows AMN wants a new club and we are open to him leaving. Eze was clearly wanted by QPR and they would presumably be happy with him remaining at Loftus Road. So it was up to Palace to make them an offer they couldn’t refuse. Also, Wolves aren’t a rich club and we… Read more »


Ospina wasn’t that good / is on pretty sizable wages which highlights one of the core issues PL teams face. The TV money is massive and the PL’s decision to relatively evenly distribute it means that even the bottom end of the PL clubs are among the richest in Europe. The PL ends up paying a massive premium in terms of transfer fees and wages relative to everyone else (strip out the 3-4 mega clubs such as PSG). Our biggest issue is we need to be much smarter when buying abroad and try to negotiate the PL premium down as… Read more »

Johnny 4 Hats

I agree that tv money plays a part. But there’s so much more nuance than that and transfer fees even from English club to English club don’t always have a huge amount of logic. Take Danny Ings and Adam Webster. Both arrived at Southampton and Brighton respectively for £20m last summer. Danny Ings – England international and striker who has scored wherever he’s gone, including a loan at Southampton so minimal risk there. Adam Webster – Uh, didn’t really know who he was. CB at Bristol City. This had far more to do with who was an asset and who… Read more »


There’s a whole host of factors that go into a transfer. Most fans look only at the actual fee paid whereas a club will look at the overall cost of the deal. Webster was one of the top defenders in the Championship fwiw and is on roughly 1/2 the wages of Ings. So while the “fees” might have been the same, Ings in reality cost quite a bit more than Webster did even prior to agent fees etc. A player ultimately is worth what someone will pay for them and the reality is the dearth of top English players means… Read more »

Johnny 4 Hats

I think in some bizarre way, we might be arguing the same point!

The homegrown thing seems weird though because although we always talk about it, I’ve never heard of a club really have any issue with it. Even clubs like City who rely predominantly on massive transfers can always easily get it sorted. The parameters are pretty broad and it seems not as much of an issue for most as we believe it to be.


There have been a few times clubs have had issues – Spuds can’t register a full squad (Europa league I believe) this year unless the up their homegrown players. City has always gotten around it by paying through the nose for decent English players (Kyle Walker for instance) who can start or by paying huge wages just to have them in the squad (their back up keeper a few years ago, etc)


But Ospina was and still is a very competent keeper. He came in at Arsenal and with the same defense ahead of him relegated Szczesny to the bench. Brought us to the FA Cup finals but being he was number one at that point the second string got the nod for cup finals. Then we bought Leno, made Ospina second string and loaned Szczesny. Just wanted to clear that first sentence. Anyway i get your point in relation to the rest of your response.


Ospina is a solid number 2 imo – not someone you want starting at a club challenging for major trophies. I don’t know if other fan bases do it as well but we seem to overrate a lot of our players relative to what the rest of football does. I keep seeing people on here talking about how AMN is good enough to play for Liverpool etc. Joel Campbell , Ospina. Even Jack his last 4-5 years.

Very good point. I can’t believe there are clubs still asking for pre-COVID 19 fees when it’s pretty obvious every club in World football has taken a financial hit.

Yet every club expects Arsenal to be a KFC bargain bucket.
Just shows how greedy a lot of these clubs are.

If Wan-Bissaka, at the same age and with less games can be sold for £49m. Why should AMN be sold for £17m?


Arsenal are not willing to sell AMN for £17 million. They have rejected the bid if you read properly!

A Different George

Well, because Wan-Bissaka looked liked one of the best young fullbacks in England while at Palace, because it was Man United that was paying, and because all of this was pre-covid. Other than that, it’s pretty much the same.


A lot of clubs are suffering because of the current crisis so may be more inclined to sell players they otherwise wouldn’t (and for cheaper prices potentially)

Realistically I’m not sure how much some of the players we are selling are worth, although 20m seems a bit low for Maitland Niles.


It sounds like Athletico are playing hard ball with Partey because they don’t want to sell.

Provided we can find somebody suitable that probably means we are going to go elsewhere.


Kroenke doesn’t give a shit, mate.

He wants profit first, trophies second.


Yup but it’s a chicken and egg situation. No investment means lower/no profits and vice versa.

Having said that almost no matter what happens, Kronke will make a profit if he chooses to sell. We could get relegated and still be worth more then what he paid to buy Arsenal.

Dave Roberts

Somehow I doubt that Josh plays more than a minor role in anything at Arsenal. Yep, I know that signing the pay checks is a vital function, but I do believe that printers are also adept at filling that role. But for his name, the one that begins with “Kro”, I suspect he’d have been given his redundancy slip by now.


That’s the trouble though, mate. It won’t be re-invested. The whole point of the exercise is to cut our net spend down to next to nothing – or even to make a profit.

And the board want you to think we’ll be rubbing shoulders with City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Utd, come next May…..


If they are smart they’ll see an opportunity and back Arteta.

It appears this is what is happening, although they could certainly back him more with some actual money …

Guendouzi Oueddei

Spot on. I agree with a Bellerin and Leno sale over their counterparts. Not that they are bad but they will demand a higher fee.


Who else do we sell then? And if we can’t sell several players, how does Arteta fund his transfer plans? If AMN is up for sale why would Arteta want to keep him – not exactly a vote of confidence?


Maybe your question should be in the reverse order: If Arteta wants to keep AMN, why should we looking to sell him?


Well, no – goonerink was saying we should keep him. As AMN is up for sale clearly Arteta doesn’t want to keep him, hence my question: “If AMN is up for sale why would Arteta want to keep him?”.

Reality check

We rejected several bids for cesc and years tapping up by Barca.


Cesc was one of the better players in the world and was wanted by arguably the greatest club side the world has ever seen. AMN is a squad player who we appear to have put up for sale and just want a higher fee for. The two situations aren’t remotely comparable.

Runcorn Gooner

I think we should hold out for a better fee for AMN
( I prefer he stayed but see the issue for him). He is obviously young and in demand.
With the current rates for players with far less experience seemingly higher we should play the long game for a change.


£20-22 million is the most you will get for AMN. We should take that and put towards Partey Over rated in my book. We don’t need him. Get some experience in. We have other youngsters who have stepped up more.


Gunnerblog Predictions : “We will get around 70m from outgoings”.

Arsenal board hell bent on proving you wrong by loaning everyone till their contract xpires.


For once, I agree with you. Good post.

Xhaka Demus, no Pliers

If Eze is going from QPR to palace for 20m then Wolves are gonna have to pony up. AMN has over 100 PL games worth of experience, Eze has never played in the Prem. As for the others I believe we’ll find buyers for the English CB’s. Both are young and have good potential. As for Kola, is there no player on either Schalke or Roma we could engineer a swap for? Pellegrini, Diawara, Mckennie…?

Xhaka Demus, no Pliers

*even if its player plus cash from one of the sales we (hopefully) make. I just dont see what use loans will do us in a player like Kola’s case. We won’t be keeping him, we dont need him to get game time elsewhere to develop so he can come back and play for us. Yeah we’d get his wages off the books but another year off his contract length deflates his transfer value further.


Normally the deflation from a contract lengh reduction is recovered with a loan fee. But depending on the numbers (loan fee, wage subsidy) we might have to cut our losses still. Also, where is Mhki? We could also use him for swaps.


Totally agree with you bar the mentioning of MecKennie. He is quite versatile defensively but never failed to play one position long-term in Schalk’s worst of many bad recent seasons. Poor man’s AMN really.


McKennie has consistently played CM and DM for Schalke, breaking in to the team when they were actually good. I like AMN, and would like to keep him, but no manager has yet made him a starter, let alone anchoring a midfield in a top four league.
I’m not saying McKennie is going to be a superstar; he looks like a solid starting midfielder.


AMN has got to be worth £25m. Even with that shouldn’t we be looking at adding on either a first refusal or sell on clause?

Johnny 4 Hats

People be wanting sell on clauses like rich dudes be wanting prenups.

Life’s a gamble man. We never sign players with sell on or buy back clauses. Why should anyone else?


Well they makes us pay more. If you don’t want to meet our asking price than yes we won’t sell without a sell on clause or first refusal.


We actually rejected a bid? Things are really changing in Arsenal and I like it.


Makes me think we owe Wolves a nice cold pint for making a bid – giving us a chance to “not take it” and drive up potential bids from others.

Can we use them as our super-agent, driving up prices by making bids for our surplus players? 😀

Feel nice to be on the “Thanks, but no thanks” side of the table for once.


I should think so too! It’s a disgrace that we’re asking for £20m in the first place. The lad is worth far more; £35m at least.


I don’t think we should be wanting to sell AMN, so I’d only be willing to sell for more than he’s technically worth. If someone wants to pay over 35m for him, ok, I don’t like it but fair enough. 20m looks like a steal to me – we brought him on against wolves to stop Traore, and he did it. Not many players can handle Adama, and I think that’s why wolves are believing AMN would be a fantastic buy.

Eddy F

Watford (relegated to the championship) are holding out for £35m for Doucoure. Now I’m not saying AMN is at the same level, but he’s close enough, younger and English. Should be getting at least £30m except everyone and their dog know we need to sell to get our targets.


I don’t know about AMN being on the same level as Doucoure. Doucoure was a key, key player for that Watford side and one of their most consistent performers. Proved himself game in game out for consecutive seasons. Same with the Wan-Bissaka comparison – if AMN was on the level of those players, we’d be starting him every game, and we wouldn’t have signed Soares. He’s got potential, yeah, but he’s still inconsistent and at 22 I think 20m is actually good business. Think about Gabriel Magalhaes, ~20m can get us a 22-25 y/o player who has proven himself at… Read more »


Selling Maitland-Niles is just plain stupid. He’s a versatile player who has been great for us recently. Every team needs a player like him.

With Bellerin apparently on his way out we’ll have just one dedicated right back in Cedric so we’ll need a back-up there.

We have load of dross that we need to offload but AMN isn’t one.


We shouldn’t be thinking of selling either Bellerín or AMN.

We’re apparently supposed to be putting together a squad that will eventually challenge for top four, the Premiership and the ECL. But all that will ever be is PR flannel from the club website, because the tightwad cunt of a majority shareholder won’t invest properly.


Don’t think Bellerin is ever going to be the level we want. He’s a decent player but not one that really lifts the team or does things no one else can do. I don’t think he’s particularly better than Soares. AMN has shown he can stop the best wingers and control his side of the pitch. Not perfect but unlike with HB, there’s actually a really good chance of him being a Tierney-level player on the opposite side. I do think it’s mental we’re willing to sell him. In an ideal world we’d make him our starting RB with the… Read more »


Come on mate, Hector Bellerín is streets ahead of Cedric Soares. I can never understand why some people seem hell bent on kidding themselves that great players that are being linked elsewhere suddenly become average or useless; it’s almost a kind of denial clearly self implemented to make themselves feel better and, frankly, it’s not very mature. Great players do not become shit just because their playing days with the Arsenal appear to be coming to an end. The reality is that this club, for all its clever PR talk about aiming to compete with the best, is STILL needlessly… Read more »

John C

By chance can you give me a list of who you think are the “great” players in our squad?

Last time I checked we had a bunch of mid-table quality players, hence we finished in mid-table and i’m including Bellerin and 8th choice Maitland-Niles in that. In fact i think Maitland-Niles is a starter at a bottom of the table club not even a mid-table one


FFS. Cough up what we’ve asked for or fuck off. Cheeky cunts.


i have no issue with us selling AMN , he has been solid at best in most games, played really well on a handful of occasions , but he has lots of flaws in his game and at 22 years old, we can get a decent price for him. If we had signed him for £15 million from another club a few years ago , i don’t think many people would have an issue with him going. But because he is an academy product , people keep thinking/hoping he will go up a few levels and become a top player.… Read more »


Mate, his best games have been against the best sides and players and they’ve mostly come towards the end of the season (when he was really getting a run of games). He was trusted to play in the cup final and he delivered. He now has to do it regularly over a season but he’s already shown he can do things others in the squad can’t. Can you imagine Bellerin matched up against Adama Traore? We all know AT would eat him alive, but AMN can actually handle players like that, better than Tierney, even.


i don’t disagree with any of that , i just think AMN wants to play elsewhere on the pitch rather than full back or wing back. arsenal wont play him central mid or on the wing , so i think that’s why he is open to a move and we are OK with letting him go.

John C

Since when has the measure of a full back been how well they match up against a player who only starts 2/3rds of Wolves games?

Have i missed something here with Traore? The guys a decent mid to higher-mid table club player, nothing more, not less

Drogheda Gunner

Yeah exactly. He’s no better than Theo or oxlade. Very good pace but f#ck all end product. Troare that is


It’s far from ideal but if we go into the season with Cedric, AMN and a recovering Chambers as our right back options I’ll be happy. Arteta has shown he can include players into flexible tactics and cover their weaknesses. Bellerin is the most valuable asset and isn’t the world class option we thought he might develop into. If that money went towards reinforcing the midfield I’d be delighted. Selling AMN leaves us vulnerable at LB and CM too (at least in terms of depth). A lean versatile squad seems to be a better idea. However, if were really not… Read more »

Dave cee

I.d be happy enough to keep AMN unless the bidding enters silly money territory.
As for Rob and Calum, wouldn’t particularly object to loan moves for either or both of them. However our need for funds may dictate otherwise.
Papa and Sead however just need to be sold. Not terrible players, but not great and on big wages. Their time is surely up.
And are we signing Gabriel or what? Been waiting on an announcement for over a week already 🙁


We’ll probably get an announcement on Friday; traditionally that’s the day we announce new signings.


Probably waiting for a ‘feel good’ Friday double announcement with Auba?


Well, let’s hope so.

God knows we’re due some good news. Since the Cup Final it’s been an absolute crock of shit.

Drogheda Gunner

Why what happened?


55+ Arsenal employees now jobless, our best attacking midfielder exiled and banned from playing for us by the board, a three year commitment to paying £250k a week to a 33 year old Chelsea reject and now we’re set to lose two good established right backs, one of whom can play as a right winger, the other good enough to be offered to PSG – thus leaving our already slim chances of qualifying for the ECL pretty much over before a ball has even been kicked.

Nothing much…..?


Cedric is a very able player with about 3 top years left. That’s why Arsenal will let Bellerin go for 35 million. No problem if there are no takers. It will make right back fairly solid.


No problem if there’s no takers? Hell boy, you’d bedder nort lit Sheriff Kroenke hear ya say that, pard’ner. We got ourselves a bundle o’ cash to make.
Yes sir-ree….


£20m still seems low for a player of his ability and potential. Also not convinced we’ll sell Kolasinic at the same time seeing as we’d have little cover at LB if/when Tierney picks up a knock.

If Chambers and Holding are being loaned out at their age it’s unlikely that they figure in Arteta’s long term plans, would be better to sell if possible.


Shows the depressed nature of the market that the £20 million valuation wasn’t met. Gooners who think we’re going to get big bucks, even for our “saleable” players are likely to be disappointed, I fear. I think we’ll sell him (for around £20 million) in the end along with AMN and Holding, but there are several others that will be difficult to shift without accepting low fees. We need the funds and the savings on the wage bill though.


*Bellerin and Holding


This is what it’s come to.

Arsenal fans trying to convince other Arsenal fans of how ‘skint’ the club is.

We’re skint folks; we’ve not got a pot to piss in, but heads up, keep that champers on ice because the annual AGM club statements are forever telling us that we’ll soon be competing for the top prizes….


I know it’s depressing for some Gooners who casually write “Buy player x for £y million”, or “the owner should/must pay” etc. but it’s largely fantasy land I’m afraid. I wouldn’t say we’re skint, but there’s little money available (a lot less than a few seasons ago because we’ve been covering the loss of CL income), our wage bill is still too high (and will increase thanks to Willian’s arrival, and the likely wage uplift for Auba), and we’ve not sold a any player so far despite the speculation. I wouldn’t reach for the bottle yet, but we have to… Read more »


The reality, my old son, is that it would take the equivalent of pocket change from Kroenke to fix this. We’re not asking the earth for fuck’s sake. Partey’s buy out clause is not going to bankrupt an eight time billionaire, neither is keeping Hector Bellerin and AMN on the books, so that we can at least have a realistic (that word again)go at making top four this year and at least getting back to the position that so many people were taking for granted under Arsene Wenger. But Kroenke won’t go that extra mile, so neither will the team.… Read more »


Being called “versatile” isn’t good and says it all about his first team career so far. AMN is at a stage where he needs to find a position and make it his. It seems like he won’t be able to do that at Arsenal as we see him as someone that can fill in at various positions when other players go lame. Wanting him to stay because he’s been here since he was eight is selfish and doesn’t do the player and the club any good. I want him to go and build a proper career because he is an… Read more »


(Semi) serious question

If we generated £50m by selling both Hector & AMN, would fans be happy with Cedric as 1st choice RB?

Obvs there are others that we need to get shot of ahead of these two, but it’s surprisingly difficult to move on some on that deadwood.



There’s nothing to discuss when the answer is obvious.


Sell them people already! It’s about time we sell players we don’t need


I agree 100% – one small problem, so far nobody wants to buy them. We’ll probably sell a few by the end of the window, but it’s a buyers market so prices are likely to be lower – and clubs know we need to sell to pay for the players Arteta wants to buy.


I hope an English team (Newcastle?) joins the bids. No way a German team bids 20m.


If Chillwell goes for 50m, AMN should bring in at least 35m!


Nonetheless, we should keep him at least for another year. If he really wants to go for first team football after that, then he should be able to leave. I like the man!


Holding to Leeds, then sell him in January.


5 trophies in his cabinet, and 3 fa cups to his name. Why would we sell him cheap?

We need to be negotiating with other clubs to do a part exchange for AMN for their best player, and also give a low ball offer.

There is no one in wolves we need and they are direct rivals.


Makes zero sense to be selling so many fullbacks. After finally getting appropraite reinforcement for depth in quality, we let players go and end up having to plug more gaps…as if we do not have plenty of holes in midfield and a whole lot of work to do in at Cback. More likely as mentioned PSG is testing the waters on Bellerin. But we should keep him. Considering he started ahead of Cedric …it tells you where Arteta feels comparative qualities lie and who is better. Ditto on left flank. AMN came in for short spell toward the end showed… Read more »


If Soares is our starting RB, then its better to sell Bellerin and keep AMN as AMN can also fill in at CDM and LB.


Good to see we are playing hard ball but at some point we need to be moving players.

Again with AMN I feel its between him and Kolasinac whomever garners highest bid and interest.

For AMN, I’d be happy to part at 15m++

Played decent today.


Ask yourself whose looking to buy AMN. Not the top clubs in the PL or Europe which tells you the level he’s at & the money available. This is the reality rather than the fantasy football world many fans live in.

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