Report: Everton eyeing Maitland-Niles swoop

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According to Sky Sports, Everton are keen to sign Ainsley Maitland-Niles before the transfer window closes on Tuesday.

The 23-year-old seemed well-placed to become Arsenal’s right-back this time last year but his preference to play in midfield meant he drifted to the fringes of the squad before Christmas.

In January, he moved to West Brom on loan and, after six months of regular football, returned to declare he was willing to leave the Gunners. Having been the subject of interest from Wolves last summer – Arsenal rejected a bid in the region of £15 million – his come-and-get-me-plea has been met with a surprisingly muted response.

Finally, with only three days left of the transfer window, Everton have seemingly stepped forward; perhaps they were reminded of his existence on Wednesday when he came off the bench at the Hawthorns to provide an assist for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The Gunners have done pretty well at offloading players to the Toffees in recent season with Alex Iwobi and Theo Walcott both swapping the Emirates for Goodison Park in big money moves.

Having committed more than £130 million on new signings and with only Joe Willock leaving for a significant sum, the sale of Maitland-Niles could go some way to helping us balance the books.

It’s certainly a story to watch in the coming days.

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Zenithreptile

This is probably a bad move for everyone involved. Arsenal get a low fee because of the market being shit, AMN goes to a club that is stagnant as ours, and Everton get a utility player who’s never nailed down a position, but thinks he a central midfielder.
Why would you not want to be Arsenal’s right back??

Iain

It’s hard for me to form an opinion of AMN too… there were times when I thought he was killing it so part of me wants him to stay. but then part of me thinks, what kind of person thinks turning down starting RB to try to fight for CM where nobody thinks he is good enough except himself is a good idea? Is there something not that right about his mentality? Maybe we just cash in.

Flash

Agreed, but the main question in my opinion is not AMN, but our future RB in this season…

Bellerin’s form is depressing at best and wants to leave.
Cerdic: to me he is OK as a deputy, but compared to the likes of Wan-Bissaka, Trent Alexander Arnold etc… worrisome.
Chambers: He is just not a right back.

I’m afraid, it is quite an underestimated problem at the moment…

GOYG

Definitely

John C

Absolutely, Philip Lahm and Joshua Kimmich both had the humility to cement a place at Bayern at right back before moving into midfield so the idea of Maitland-Niles turning his nose up at doing the same doesn’t paint him in a good light. This is a classic case of pride coming before the fall

Heavenly Chapecoense

But he is willing to be a RB at Arsenal. Arteta doesn’t seem to want him there. Theo wanted to be a CF and played as a winger for almost 10 seasons because Wenger gave him opportunities.

John C

No he isn’t, he says he wants to be a midfielder but either way, I don’t think he’s good enough in either position.

Cultured Determination

Maybe he’s just sensitive to the white paint on the touchline

SG_Gooner

His mum will come to london colney and scold arteta…

Kostas

Spot on! He would be ideal inverted under lapping RB! He is fast and technically gifted. He needed some work on his positional awareness and maybe his focus.

Nevertheless. I can bet that he will never be CM

GOYG

When he chose WBA last season it changed my opinion on him. I thought he chose the wrong option and should have gone to Southampton and challenged himself to get into a team at a slightly better level. I’m still a fan, but think he needs to move on, but not to a direct rival. He’s not the level of RB we need either. Especially if he doesn’t even want to play in that position. It’s a real shame, but hopefully we can sell him to the right club and get a RB in before the window closes.

Challah Baker Soldier Spy

He’s good enough to play RB for Arsenal, but not good enough to play central midfield unless it was at a lower Premier League club. I think full-back is a more dynamic position these days and you’re fully capable of expressing yourself technically and offensively. Beware the jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none curse, also known as John O’Shea’s Disease.

Qwaliteee

Get out while you can, Ainsley…!

Seriously, I sincerely hope the lad stays with us – the next manager will be able to use him properly.

Jacques

I can see this happening if Richarlison is sold according to rumors

Bishop

Wr might finally get some decent money for a player if Everton’s track record on the transfer market is anything to go by.

On another note, I will be somewhat sad when / if he eventually leaves because he is one of those youngsters that I love and had high hopes for.
Hope he can carveout a very successful career wherever he ends up.

Duh

I’ll miss the penalty taking. So cool. Good luck to him whatever happens.

Fezec

ANM is not good enough to be a starting player in any position for Arsenal.

There I said it.

Good luck Ainsley, I think we all are a little sad it’s turned out this way.

You’ll always be a legend for this though

Heavenly Chapecoense

Not good enough for Arsenal? Cedric, Pablo Mari, Chambers, Holding, El Neny are?

Fezec

No they’re not. What’s your point?

Alan Sunderland

Think his point is they’re actually starting for arsenal.

Public Elneny

He is absolutely a right back / RWB. His passing and awareness are too lax to be more than a mid table level CM. He will be 24 tomorrow – so approaching mid-career – he really should have figured out where his strengths lie by now and focusing on that That said I’d rather sell Elneny, and give AMN his minutes in midfield + rotation at RB. Elneny isn’t on massive wages in the scheme of things and has several seasons left in the tank, so should be sellable, even if just for £5-8m. The way AMN (hasn’t) been utilised,… Read more »

rhal

That’s what’s mindboggling to me. He is on par with Elneny at CM and can provide cover at RB, even if he would be better generally at RB, isn’t it a better deal to sell Elneny and keep him playing rotation at CM???

Public Elneny

I know right

I gave up trying to interpret what Arteta/Edu/the Kroenkes are thinking long ago. They’re fools way out of their depth, that’s all there is to know. The Kroenkes may or may not even care

Hank Scorpio

Elneny isn’t on huge wages but in relative terms compared to other leagues he doesn’t come cheap either.

Arteta-tinted Glasses

Thing is Ainsley can still make it as an RB at Arsenal if he puts his mind to it. This is not a good move for his career either. Makes sense for us if they overpay us with potential Richarlison money coming in.

loose_cannon

Good luck to him if he goes. Don’t have a problem with him trying his hand at CM even if he’s a better RB, it’s a short career so it’s important he does what he feels is right for him. I do suspect that Everton are looking at him as a Coleman replacement though, so not sure this will go through.

Cranky Colin

AMN looked assured v West Brom’s second team.
But the Prem is a whole different matter.
I’d love to see him develop at the Arse…. but unfortunately to quote my favourite (not!) business man , “you’re in big trouble when you start believing your own bullshit”.

Can’t help thinkin this applies to AMN.

WayBackWhen

Agree with the hope that he’d stay and develop. Not sure that it’s fair to say his self belief is bs, you’ve probably got to have a good level of self confidence to play at a high level. His prerogative if he doesn’t fancy playing RB (or RWB). Personally I think he can be a good CM in the Prem, just not at the level we need (or aspire to). Everton under Benitez isn’t the worst move he could make. For those of us who enjoy the jobs we have, we probably don’t do it for a market leader. Given… Read more »

Heavenly Chapecoense

People are saying that AMN is not good enough to play for us but we are 8th ffs.

WayBackWhen

not at the level we need (or aspire to).”

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Iwobi has been a huge success. I say about another 40 million should be about right

Goonerink

Did no one watch him last season?
he absolutely can be a cm.

I just think at 24 it’s too late for him to do it at Arsenal with our current setup and situation.

Aaron

Everyone watched him last season and it was clear as day that he cannot make it as a central midfielder in a premier league team.

He is careless in possession and his supposed calmness masks some supporters of his poor concentration levels and positional discipline. He has had several years to fix his mental side but at 24, it’s time to get as much as you can.

This is a sale WHICH will not come back to bite us any day. But I wish AMN good luck wherever he goes.

Goonerink

He needs games there, could do a job for viera or potter maybe even Bruce at Newcastle.

Vonnie

Same problems Thomas Partey has then, supposed calmness and silky smooth passes, straight to the opposition. Ainsley is no worse than a supposed superstar that we dumped £45 million on and who’s always injured and often sloppy. That said,I do wish Ainsley would accept that he’s a good fit for right back and give it a go, it was those twats at aftv ripping him to shreds after he played on the left that dented his confidence.

Nostalgic Gooner

AMN has always looked at CM and actually did very well at WB. Every career expert out there tells you the best job is doing what you’re passionate about. AMN just doesn’t want to be a right back, and that’s fine. Hopefully he either gets his chance Arsenal or someone else and thrives playing in the position he wants to play.

Anders Limpar

Arteta has had personality clashes with numerous players and frozen them out. AMN is another young talent we are about to give up on due to MA autocratic streak.

WayBackWhen

We have absolutely no idea if that’s true or not.

Anders Limpar

Football fans rarely do. You could probably post that reply to 95% of posts. There is however plenty of very reliable sources who have confirmed MA has been a ruthless disciplinarian and has ostracised (rightly or wrongly) the likes of Douzi, AMN, Torriera, possibly Willock. It is also a very badly kept secret that Auba doesn’t get on with him either.

WayBackWhen

Not really. We can draw a fair assumption of a player’s performance based on the games that we can see.

We can surmise information based on interviews and biographies etc.

Unless we’re in the training ground, or have direct contact with individuals, we have no idea about someone’s inter-personal skills whether someone’s autocratic, or a strong leader, or tough but fair, or an introvert, or a poor communicator. All of these could be true but we can’t know based on information we have access to.

Who are these sources? At least give it an ‘according to…’

Alan Sunderland

The fact that Cedric is playing instead of him would be enough to convince me there might be a problem.

Paul

You need to get a grip mate.

AMN doesn’t want to play RB, everyone except himself thinks he’s a RB – a good one that can even get better if he puts his mind to it.

Nothing like personality clash or whatever conspiracy theory that you have in mind.

I think I’m a programmer, but I’m good at copywriting and actually earn a living from it.

Wouldn’t it be better to master copywriting and make a name for myself there vs forcing my way into programming?

Flowing with the tide vs swimming against it.

Anders Limpar

You need to get a grip mate, this is a football forum not LinkedIn but well done you

Reiss Neverseen vs DicTetaBall

I generally agree because that’s what it looks like from the outside. That said you have to wait until our next bad performance as the post-win buzz evidently hasn’t faded yet😂😂

Chibueze Austin

Wish he’d stay behind and own RB… No matter where he goes he’d struggle to get a decent run in CM

Ghost of Fabregas

Jut play him at right back and get on with it. It’s not as if he will strike

Paul

If he doesn’t want to play there, if his mind isn’t fully into OWNING the position, we will never see the best of him.

Imagine a girl happily giving you head vs one that you have to convince to go down 🤷

SarcasmB0T

Wow, what a classy analogy.

Reiss Neverseen vs DicTetaBall

Yep pretty much. We only have to look at current and past examples in Walcott, Auba, Özil and RvP. All of them were perfectly fine to play on the wing for many seasons despite their favoured positions being more central. Ainsley has said he’s perfectly fine playing wherever several times.

Freezedawg of Sweden

SO sad. Love Ainsley. So smooth, it felt so close to a breaktrough a few seasons back. If only it had worked out…

Haybe

Once Gabriel and White recover we will start conceding 3 goals per game. What’s more worrying is the lack of penetration in the front due to Arsenal intentionally overlooking creativity from the midfield.

The team, and particularly Xhaka, resort to unnecessary and frustrating fouls whenever Arsenal goes into a losing streak.

Time is running out to fix this mess but I hope he doesn’t go into a reactionary shopping that will only inflate the wage bill rather contributing in the pitch.

Haybe

**We will stop conceding**

Mark

I wish he’d be our starting RB instead of Chambers or Cedric. I’d even take Bellerin back at this point over those two. It is a disaster of a position right now. Boy do I miss Bacary Sagna and the former version of Bellerin, always was such a strong, stable position for us.

Shitbird

Get out while you can Ainsley!

[Sorry, I couldn’t resist an old joke]

David

Would AMN really want this move? If he wants to be a first choice centre midfielder, he’s not going to get that at Everton as I can’t see him dislodging Doucoure and Allan in their centre midfield.