Reports in the Mirror and Telegraph this evening say that Ainsley Maitland-Niles has been told he’s been put on the transfer list by the club.
Despite the fact he started both the semi-final and the final of the FA Cup, and is a player that Mikel Arteta rates, financial considerations mean the club will listen to offers for him.
His Academy status means any sale will be essentially profit, and teams like Brighton and Everton are said to be interested in the 22 year who could fetch as much as £20m.
From an Arsenal point of view, the £5m spent on signing Cedric Soares on loan before making him a permanent member of the squad with a four year contract at the age of 28, means there’s cover. The Portuguese international turns 29 at the end of this month, but until then remains 28 because that’s how it works.
Maitland-Niles made his 100th Arsenal appearance in the 2-1 win over Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday, and his versatility should be seen as useful for the Gunners in seasons to come, but the need to raise funds is driving this decision which is a real shame.
Maybe we should just flip Soares to whoever is willing to pay us a fee which gives us a profit. We know he’s an average player who is not going to get any better than he already is, while AMN has potential to grow and his best years ahead of him.
Perhaps it all depends on what plans Head of Football
Kia Joorabchian Raul Sanllehi has for rebuilding the squad.