Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Report: West Brom pushing for Maitland-Niles loan

According to The Athletic (£), West Bromwich Albion are leading the chase to sign Ainsley Maitland-Niles on loan for the rest of the season.

The 23-year-old was the subject of a £15 million bid from Wolves in the summer, however, Mikel Arteta – impressed by a run of form that saw the Academy graduate earn his first caps for England – wouldn’t sanction the deal.

While Maitland-Niles has made 21 appearances this campaign, including 11 in the Premier League, he’s featured only sparingly since the turn of the year (102 mins out of 540) and appears to have fallen behind Cedric as back-up to Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin.

On Thursday, Arteta admitted that Maitland-Niles was worried that a lack of game time was hurting his chances of being selected by England for this summer’s European Championships and hinted that he was open to letting the player leave.

“Yeah, it’s a concern when there is international football involved as well,” said Arteta.

“After reaching that opportunity, I understand that Ainsley wants more minutes. What he needs to do is fight, train and challenge his teammates and show us that he can be one of our starters.”

West Brom are currently 19th in the Premier League and could certainly do with an injection of quality if they want to stand any chance of avoiding relegation.

Whether Maitland-Niles is up for a scrap at the bottom of the table remains to be seen. He certainly has the quality to play for a better side so we expect other clubs to make approaches between now and the close of the transfer window at 11pm on Monday.

The Athletic also claimed that Ainsley “is also attracting interest from a current top-four side” which, given the story was posted before Liverpool’s win over Sp*rs, probably means West Ham (now in 5th) or Leicester. With the greatest respect to Ainsley, we can’t see Liverpool, Manchester United or Manchester City being interested.

Letting Maitland-Niles leave would certainly represent a risk for the Gunners. While his performances can be a tad erratic, his versatility could be very useful with so many games ahead.

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I get it from his perspective but that would leave us with 3 full backs for the rest of the season, all with injury records.

Too nice Arsenal?

Johnny 4 Hats

Perhaps you’re right man. I wonder if Arteta and AMN just ain’t getting on though. It was a little suspect right up until Ainsley put in those stellar performances at the tail end of last season.

But since then, it feels like AMN has been shunned in games that you really would have expected him to start in. Just reading between the lines but I feel like they just aren’t clicking with each other.

Perhaps Arteta has his eye on a LB loan deal so wants to shift AMN to get it over the line.


I’m pretty sure that Arteta is on record as saying that he didn’t “get” Ainsley and thought his laid back attitude was laziness, until his excellent performances post-lockdown. I think it’s very tough for someone as intense and driven as Arteta to deal with someone as nonchalant as Ainsley.


The boy is frustrated by the treatment he has been getting from arteta. Arteta should have sold him to wolves if he know he could not create a pathway into the team for AMN.

Dublin gunner

I don’t think it’s a rift between them but that amn isn’t playing as well as the other 3 stated and when he got his chance against Palace he had a horrible night.it was that bad I think if KT had started we would have one comfortably. There’s definitely a player there but I think he needs to nail down his best position.


Is there’s a left back ready to emerge from Hale End?

Keeping unhappy or unmotivated players rarely ends well

I like Niles, but a move makes sense at this point.

Hopefully we can get an obligation written in, one less thing to deal with next summer

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Plus Bellerin is on 7 yellow’s, so 3 more and that’s a 2 match ban.

Seeing your name always makes me chuckle. I always check twice to make sure my eyes aren’t deceiving me.😂

Man Manny

West Brom is certainly going down. Everything they do from now on, is simply clutching at straws. I don’t think AMN needs that setting at this point in his development.
He’d likely go there with a Saviour Mentality: that could affect him psychologically by the time they finally go down.
A mid-table EPL team, or a Championship team aiming for promotion would be ideal for him by my thinking.

El Mintero

He should go to Spain, France or Italy. I think a loan spell in a different country would be good for him and his style of play might fit well on the continent.


The Guardian mentioned Southampton as a possible destination. I think that would be a good fit. Hasenhuttl is well respected plus AMN would get to spend quality time with (not so young anymore (31!!)) Theo.


I think West Ham would be a better fit than West Brom. He can remain local and would escape Big Sam’s greasy clutches.

I do hope AMN has a solid future at Arsenal. Maybe just not at left-back. A loan move might just be what he needs to kick on in his development and get the minutes required to stake his claim for inclusion in the England squad, all while appreciating his market value.


Let’s not boost a top 4 rival.

Johnny 4 Hats

West Brom broke Gnabry and Vela so I’m going to say let’s hold out for a bit better than having to play anti football for the eggman, the walrus. Coo coo ca fucking choo.

Daz Pants

So true. Pulis, Fat Sam, basically the same thing. Let’s not risk harming our chances with another player.

A Voice in the Noise

But will he even be a regular at West Ham?
They have two strong full backs, a pair of solid DM/CM’s in Rice and Soucek and the RW spot, where AMN has featured before, is occupied by Bowen and Yarmolenko.

At West Brom he’d at least be a near-certain guaranteed starter week in week out and isn’t that what he needs?


Whatever we might think of Allardyce and West Brom, Big Sam looked after Jack when was at Bolton, Tony Pulis was the problem with Gnabry.

If we’re going to loan out AMN he needs to go somewhere where he will play and not be an impact sub.

Johnny 4 Hats

Yeah. Apparently Sam doesn’t usually do it with players outside his own club but he made an exception and pulled his shirt up, allowing Jack to suckle at his mighty teet.


Big sam had nothing to do with wilshere the manager at the time was Owen coyle.. why is people like your comment? Just shows how many casuals are on this site

Cal Jenkinstein

Wasn’t Owen Coyle the Bolton manager when Jack Wilshere was on loan… or am I just getting my wires massively crossed


Absolutely right mate, my mistake.

Daz Pants

That’s a good point. But I would like him to go to a good side, get a run of games, and prove he can play at the top level, in midfield as well. Maybe then Arteta will pick him in our side more often, if he returned and stayed. There are certainly a number of players I would rather he played instead of, one in particular…
Arteta’s reluctance to use him feels similar to his reluctance to bring ES-R in until he was forced to by injuries/desperation, and that didn’t work out too badly for everyone.

Heavenly Chapecoense

I don’t know why MA doesn’t want any competition for his compatriot. AMN was supposed to start 45% of games. He has a lot of experience already having played for Wenger as a RB. I smile when I see that Blog still calls him “academy graduate”.


The issue is AMN hasn’t played particularly well at fullback when he has played. His best run came as a wingback where he was able to use his greatest asset – his speed. He’s a poor passer which is a real issue when we ask our fullbacks to play through the press. It also means he doesn’t really fit into the engine room either. There’s a decent chance he’s just not quite good enough for where we’re going and will be moved on


I think we have to take his performances this year with a huge pinch of salt. His ability to get consistent time on the pitch and in anything close to regular positions has been non existent. Apparently too good for the Europa group team, but too bad for the premier League (or too utility).

We all talk about giving Pepe or Auba a run of games to get up to speed and build confidence – I think AMN deservs that chance and, ideally, in his favoured position in the midfield.


The issue is his weaknesses are a consistent problem for how we want to play. We talk about how he’s a young player and needs time to develop when in reality he’s only 2 years younger than Hector who at this point appears to be a far superior player

Salibaba and the Forty Thieves

Is Hector a far superior player though? He’s a great personality in the squad and very likeable but many pundits and sports journalists are predicting Arsenal to strengthen at RB in the summer.

I saw a damning statistic in the Athletic that Bellerin is the 2nd worst RB for % of defensive duels lost after Tariq Lamptey (who is also well liked).


A lot of that talk is predicated around the rumors Hector will leave to join PSG, Barcelona or Juventus at the end of the year. Each of those is very clearly a step up from us.


Spot on, Atom! I also feel from his body language, his mind often seemed to check out after passing the ball out, instead of following up and starting thinking about the next move. In this regard, he is so much different from Saka and ESR. For a player who desire to play in the midfield, he seems more passive and reactionary than proactive. I’m not sure if he is lack of imagination where ESR or Saka excel. And I still haven’t seen him carrying the ball or dribble past often enough to know if he has the type of tight… Read more »

Kanu Believe It

West Ham dont have the loan space for him.

A Voice in the Noise

They actually do now, though, having just made Benrahma a permanent signing.
But apparently they’re also in for both Lingard and maybe even a striker, so AMN may not be top of their list.


Get him off somewhere to play regularly and give him the chance to prove himself (or get his market value up).


Leaves us a bit thin at fullback. Perhaps we’re ok with Cedric on both sides, Saka as emergency LB and Chambers who is now fit again as break-glass RB. Will definitely be good for AMN to get games, he needs them, and Arsenal need him to play too. I think his future at Arsenal is as a squad player, but I think he wants more than that, which is fair. Probable sale in the summer. A loan with regular game time will certainly help his value, which, let’s be honest, could be better after his limited game time and patchy… Read more »


If we’re not going to try and sell him in what little time remains in this window, then a loan is the best option as he clearly needs games. West Brom will be tough, given their PL position, as the article suggests but that may what he needs. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t sell him in the Summer if another offer came in. We almost certainly can’t buy without selling so we’ll have to sell someone if we want to do any business later this year and he is one of the more obvious candidates. I… Read more »


We almost certainly can’t buy without selling … Yawn. Like you know anything about what we can or can’t do in the transfer window.


Yawn. Another pointless, lazy comment from Gervinhothegoat that adds nothing to the discussion.


Oh dear Dave you seem to have posted a pointless lazy comment that adds nothing to the discussion yourself
How disappointing.

Public Elneny

Personally I love petty beefs and sniping between commenters, it adds a lot



Well, let’s wait and see, shall we. If we’re flush with funds why are we concentrating on taking players on loan, rather than buying? Also, why are we buying out several players’ contracts rather than letting them expire (at greater cost)? Looking at what we know about the club’s finances, we made a loss of around £25 million on the last accounts published (that’s before Covid kicked in); we still owe about £100 million on the stadium debt (the owners re-scheduled that debt a few months ago at a lower interest rate to save money); and just recently, the club… Read more »

Dublin gunner

No offence pal but everytime you comment you always mention the clubs finances or lack there of.we all like to dream that where going to sign some one big and you come in bursting are bubble by dealing in facts.lol.again I’m not getting at you as your only being honest.


We signed pepe for 72 million and partey for 45 million in recent windows this line that the club has no money is rubbish. Look at the finances of any premier league club and they will be in a similar mess but continue to spend hundreds of millions in each window. Football clubs dont live in the real world. Players will be moved on to make space for new ones Maitland Niles would do well to accept his role as a utility player at arsenal for now. We didnt need to sign cedric or willian as squad filler those spaces… Read more »

AMN's cheeky grin

It would probably be good for AMN’s development, but we should only do this if we sign a left back. Cedric can’t be the only cover for both LB and RB

(I’m not counting Chambers as RB)

Arteta-tinted Glasses

Wherever he gets minutes. We cannot lose player-value by sitting them on the bench.


AMN linked with current top-4 side, 2021 is making even lesser sense.


West Ham


I believe this door is already closed. WH has reportedly already finalized a loan deal with MU for Lingaard. Anyway, having seen how KT took out D.Furlong twice in the WB match, I am not averse to AMN moving to WB on loan. Plus we also have KG there to help him adapt quickly. This is because what I’m really interested to see now is AMN playing (on loan) week-in week-out in the PL, no matter what teams/positions. Right now, I see him as a strong and quick one-on-one defender on the left, but a much better attacker on the… Read more »

Eddy F

If he’s serious about being a defender then West Brom might not be a bad place to go. As long as there’s a decent loan fee to go along with it. Could learn the defensive side of the game a bit more

Don’t want us strengthening a top 4 rival, even one that we expect to fall away.


I think there is little doubting AMN’s defensive qualities. He is really strong defensively. IMO this is why he was so effective post-lockdown last season. In that time we went ultra defensive, particularly against the big teams. We more or less parked the bus, played tactically really tight, and tried to knick a goal or two through really direct play (i.e. long-balls from Luiz et al) or via a turnover (like against Liverpool in the Cup). AMN was great in that system because he is a good defender, and excellent recovery defender. He also adding a bit of counter attacking… Read more »

santi's thigh grab

Solid analysis. Every player has to have a strength, their super power and AMN is defending against top attackers. We have evolved as a team and he has not, round hole, square peg right now, which is a good thing for the club but not the player. Summer sell. He would be good at West Ham and I don’t fear West Ham with him in their side.


Sickening feeling that if we hadn’t had blown so much money on washed up has beens or one footed wingers we wouldnt be in a position where we have to cannibalise part of hale end.

Dumb short term thinking


Cannibalise part of hale end?! Fuck me, take a look at Saka and Smith-Rowe in this side. If they’re good enough then they’ll be in the team. And not forgetting the likes of Nketiah and Willock who have had numerous chances to prove themsves. ANM has been a useful utility player in the past but has never really excelled for us in any position- the closest he came was at the end of last season in a formation we’ve moved away from. And one footed wingers? Sorry if it means cannibalising hale end, but yes, I’d take Pepe in this… Read more »


Well we are going to have to take Pepe over Nelson and AMN because of the giant contract he’s signed up to.

I’m not convinced that selling these players is down to deficits rather than the quality of the players.

simmer down with the language potty mouth


Convinced sorry


Are you suggesting that we’re playing Pepe over Nelson and AMN on the wing because of his contract? Nelson has recurring injury issues, AMN isn’t a winger (or at least, it’s not where he’s played most).

Sean is right, Saka and ESR are proof that Arteta isn’t scared of playing the kids, and the rest of our youngsters have been given a fair crack of the whip. If they were better than our other options, they’d be playing.


Nope, regardless of the kind of contract each of these individuals are on, Arteta’s going to take Pepe over Nelson and AMN because he’s the better player.

Hank Scorpio

Why does he prefer Willian? Because he’s better?

Dublin gunner

Potty mouth.🤣 blogs someone should be banned for that kind of language. 😆


Simmer down with the potty mouth? what the fuck are you on about . he cant use whatever language he fucking wants.
Are you his fucking dad or something

Dublin gunner

I don’t know why you got so many down votes.some fans just go way over the top when someone criticises or talks about selling one of the academy players.

Dave Cee

Weird one really, good enough to start an FA Cup final and get England caps, not good enough to challenge Hector at RB or Mo/Xhaka in CM. For his own benefit a loan makes sense, he must be frustrated. Seems like the prelude to a sale unfortunately. Always liked Ainsley and hoped his future was at Arsenal


He’s a decent player, really good when we don’t have the ball but he’s so laid back it leads to carelessness in possession. The talk coming from Arteta sounds like he’s the same in training too.

Wouldn’t want to judge personality as things are wierd for everyone at the moment and you never know what’s going on in someones head but maybe he’s not pushing himself hard enough or taking things as seriously as you would like and a loan might show him how privileged he is at Arsenal.


The thing that connects the FA Cup final to the England caps is that on both occasions, AMN played as a wing back, not a full back or CM. A loan could be a good opportunity to show what he can do in other positions.

Hank Scorpio

Agreed. I think he’s gone. Maybe it’s just me but our most saleable players are going to be English – AMN, Chambers, Nelson, Willock, Nketiah. They’ll need to be replaced with other academy youngsters or we’ll have to buy and factor in the English premium lest we get into difficulties with having too many foreign players again.


I would like to know.
What do you think is AMN’s best position?


IMO right fullback.


AMN should stay. There’s still a lot of football left in this season and we may well need a player like him. For some reason it looks like Arteta doesn’t particularly like Ainsley: I don’t know why.

BTW: I’m so glad we didn’t go for Maureen last year. I was watching the Spuds/Liverpool game last night and was shocked at just how negative our friends from down the road were. They got precisely what they deserved in the end.


60th anniversary of Sp*rs winning the league this season. At least they have something to be happy about. And we can all help our Sp*rs mates to celebrate.


I used to have have Sp*rs mates. I guess that’s why they are ex-mates.


I’ll put the K-tel compilation “50 all – time great funeral dirges” on the gramophone and dig that box of damp fireworks out of the shed then.

Timorous Me

I agree that AMN could well be needed. Without him we effectively have three fullbacks, one of whom has been struggling for fitness lately. And we really don’t want to have to use Saka at LB considering how important he’s been to our attack. If we bring in another LB, that’s another story, but that seems unlikely right now.


Chambers at 3rd choice RB, Saka as 3rd choice LB. We’d be just about covered, but definitely not ideal, but I doubt we’re going to bring anyone in (before the summer) at this late hour of the window, and cost benefits of AMN riding the pine or going somewhere to get games is probably in favour of a loan spell. He needs it and Arsenal need him to play.

santi's thigh grab

AMN cannot play LB, we have seen that recently. We are toothless in attack on the left with him in there. He can play left wing back fairly adequately but big difference in roles. I’ve always rooted for AMN to make it but the sample size is large enough now that we recognize that he doesn’t have the technical quality to take care of the ball in the final third, struggles with entry balls and crosses and doesn’t have the level of consistency necessary for a top four side. He can sparkle at times but those moments don’t come often… Read more »


I recalled he played quite a number of games under Wenger as a back up left back. Arteta threw him in at left back after not playing him in months. What do you expect? Him not playing in awhile actually made him looked worst than he is in the position.

Public Elneny

Eh, if he was a serious footballer, he would have made the starting right back position his own over a year ago. But he wanted to be a winger or cm or something, even though he has no final ball and his passing is dreadful. And Arteta didn’t rate his attitude, so we signed Cedric He then changed Mikel’s mind and had some momentum behind him over the summer, but that’s been squandered this season with a few woeful performances to the point where he doesn’t seem trusted at all. Arteta again talking about how he needs to fight and… Read more »


Loan swap Gibbs for AMN?

santi's thigh grab

No. Always forward, never back.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Gibbs is Championship level.

Public Elneny

He was better at 23 than AMN is now


He really wasn’t.

Public Elneny

At 23 Gibbs was a reliable starting xi player (when fit) in a team comfortably better than this one. AMN is 3rd choice rb – and that is possibly the squad’s weakest position right now

Gibbs became very passive in attack and defence about the time Monreal joined and regressed badly as a result. But his pace and well timed forward runs in his early 20s were important to us, even if his final ball wasn’t great (though still better than AMN’s)

Murphy Was An Arsenal Fan

At this point both the Europa and the League are priority competitions for Arsenal. We have enough cause for pessimism to be wary of letting a defensive minded player leave. Then again, he is rotting off the bench.

Rock, meet hard place.


A tough one, wouldn’t want to lose two fullback options in the same window without replacing, but at the same time he desperately needs games. At any rate we shouldn’t be sending him to any team that’s above us in the table.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Yes I think the only reason Arteta let Kola leave was because he trusted AMN at left-back. And then the Palace game happened.


I do wonder if people, maybe even Arteta himself, are reading a bit too much into the Palace game. AMN was very poor, but it was just one game in which no one really excelled. At the same time, his performance invited comparisons to Tierney who’s been one of our best players this season along with Saka. Cedric has an awful game at LB against Southampton in the cup, but he was excellent against the same team in the same position the next game. If we let AMN go this window, it won’t be because of that game, it’ll be… Read more »


One thing about a loan and getting regular football is he might end up settling into a single position and making it his own. His ‘jack of all trades’ Arsenal career has definitely made it hard to be certain of his quality and exact skillset (other than as an everyman).


West Brom? A Sam Allardyce team? Have we learned nothing??


Perhaps there aren’t other clubs wanting to take him on (and his wages presumably) at this time of “strained” finances. I wouldn’t be too concerned that it could be Big Sam though. It will be tough all round at West Brom, given where they are in the PL, and it’s only for a six months or so. That said, it may do AMN the world of good – and he needs the matches, doesn’t he.


Everyone has raised very good points here about the potential benefits to playing there, pretty much guaranteed playing time being chief among them. I’m just of the opinion of ‘once bitten, twice shy’. So what is it when you’re bit twice?


(Even) more painful?

Mikel’s Coat

Come on, he deserves a less shite club than this lowly lot


Unfairly treated by MA if one thinks of how non performers ” perform”.


Last time we loaned a player out to West Brom he ended up under Tony Toilet Paper Pukis care. Do we really want to send one out to be under the care of the same type of dinosaur? 😀

Then again this player did end up becoming worldclass…. for another club. Maybe the despair of playing for West Brom really motivated him to try hard never again to end up playing for a club and manager such as Tony Pulis/sam allardyce/steve bruceses of this world.


True, but what else are we going to do with him if he can’t get playing time at Arsenal? I assume that there aren’t other clubs interested in taking him on loan so it looks like WBA are the only suitors.


Rather have AMN in cm and squad then Elneny due to homegrown and more potential. So lets leave him on loan to get confidence then sell Elneny in the summer when he comes back as a rotation plyer in cm and when needed other positions. Great squad player and potentially can improve and be a starter in future…


If AMN is loaned, I’d expect we keep Chambers in squad for both Home grown reasons and to cover at Rback (Plus 5th choice Cback) Lest we fgorget, Chambers cuts his teeth at Rback at Soton where he impressed enough for us to sign him. That IS his ‘natural position’. We also need to make homegrown. If I am correct we need 8 players out of 25. We have : Bellerin, Holding, Chambers, Willock, ESR, Saka, Tierney, Nketiah Then non Homegrown : Leno, Ryan, Runnarson, Cedric, Mari, Gabriel, Luiz, Xhaka, Partey, Elneny, Ceballos, Odegaard, Pepe, Willian, Auba, Laca, Martinelli Martinelli… Read more »


People keep forgetting Chambers. He is a Rback by trade.


Ainsley is an interesting player who has so many attributes but sometimes doesn’t seem focused in games, and probably also training by the comments from Mikel. I can remember an interview a long time ago with Laurent Koscielny, also a laid back kind of guy, who said something along the lines of ” I realised that I needed to change my personality for the games, be less laid back and more driven”. I don’t want to see Ainsley slapping his own face like Kos used to do, but maybe he needs to find that game mentality that sometimes is missing.… Read more »


Loan to West Brom? Why not? Did wonders for Gnabry.


Tierney will always have that final third quality.

But AMN has the edge especially against wingers who can move both inside and outside.

Once he has nullified their threat, he comes into his own late in the game when his athleticism causes the opposition to consider removing their star winger away from Niles! And he starts combining with the attackers with more space.


Curious to hear if the ones that down voted my post think Elneny is a better squad player then AMN?? Please elaborate…

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