Sunday, June 16, 2024

Arteta explains decision to let Maitland-Niles leave on loan

Mikel Arteta has explained the decision to let Ainsley Maitland-Niles depart on loan for Roma, saying the player came to him to ask to leave.

The 24 year old looked to be on the verge of departure in the summer window, even posting on Instagram about his unhappiness that a deal to Everton didn’t go through. He stayed, and did play when needed, but has just over 250 Premier League minutes to his name.

An approach from Roma saw Maitland-Niles have a forthright conversation his manager, asking for the opportunity to leave and play more regularly – and the Spaniard didn’t stand in his way.

“Well, Ainsley came to to me and explained the reasons why he thought the best thing for him and his career right now was to move away,” revealed Arteta at his press conference this afternoon.

“He believed that the opportunity of Roma and working with Jose was a really good one. We already had this conversation in the summer and we decided to keep him at the club and assess the situation in December.

“Being fair, with the amount of minutes he’s played, he was entitled to that opportunity, and when a player feels that way – and has a strong argument like he had – it’s very difficult to turn that away.

“So, we decided to let him go and wish him the best.”

The fact that it leaves his squad light in central midfield was something that Arteta had to reckon with, but he felt that the best decision in the end was to sanction the departure, and look for a replacement in the transfer market.

“We are very, very short at the moment,” he said loudly for the owners and the board to hear (!).

“But to be fair to the player, that cannot be the only argument to try and keep someone, and a player that has been developed and raised through our Academy. A player who has been patient in many moments to try try to fulfil his dream.

“He was very straight with me and I understood the situation, so I think it’s a good option.

“Obviously we are going to move, and we are going to look for options because we are very short there.”

Best of luck to Ainsley, and let’s see what the transfer market brings.

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The decision to let AMN go out on loan may frighten us fans but I think it sends very positive message out to young players at Arsenal and/or considering joining Arsenal that player welfare and development really does matter to management at Arsenal.


Also sends a good message of how players should conduct themselves at Arsenal and that the management is fair.

He had a moan over social media at the summer and got nothing. But here he has professionally asked the boss and stated his case, and got the outcome he wanted.

The message I see is, conduct yourself properly and you’ll get a lot more than if you act out and have bad discipline.

I like this message and this attitude of Arsenal that Arteta is cultivating.


I think he’ll learn a lot about positioning and awareness from Mourinho… The move will benefit everyone, hopefully.


That’s a lot of spin on a fundamentally inexplicable decision.

It’s not player welfare to not play a guy who’s at the age and skill level to start. Telling him that he’s not better than Xhaka, days after the latter exhibits his ineptitude yet again, is not development.

I’ll refrain from trying to extrapolate larger consequences from this bad decision, but they’re unlikely to be anywhere as rosy as you’re suggesting.

Johnny 4 Hats

Well, we sent him on loan last January when we were very short at RB. So it makes sense that we send him out again now we are short of CM’s.

I think Arteta has probably learned already from his time at Arsenal that players who don’t want to be at the club need to be moved, regardless of their necessity to the team.

Plus, Rome for the winter months? I could probably put up with Jose for that.


So given that Xhaka was forced to cover RB last year for an injured Tierney – only fair that we move Tierney to CM to cover this year, right?


“Plus, Rome for the winter months? I could probably put up with Jose for that.”

No. No you couldn’t.

Johnny 4 Hats

I actually can’t be arsed to be upset with Jose anymore. He’s a footnote in the game. And his ‘specialist in failure’ gets all the documentaries, all the plaudits for changing the game, all the respect of the other managers…

It’s quite sad really. Pep is lifting back to back prems and his fiercest rival is doing a mediocre job at an ok club. Again.

Don't Dada

If we are very very short there,why not just play him? He has largely delivered whenever he has been called upon this season,but Arteta clearly doesn’t rate him that much. Very strange especially when you consider that Xhaka seems untouchable no matter the number of mistakes he makes.

Johnny 4 Hats

Duh. No one actually reads the articles Blogs.


Between the lines, Arteta’s seems to:

1) Rate Xhaka over AMN.
2) Be confident enough of finding a midfielder better than AMN this window to not offer him more game time.

He’s definitely wrong on 1, likely wrong on 2.

Funsho Patrick

He’s basically back up in his preferred positions and experience is telling us that players have to be committed to the cause….I wonder if we’ll do a loan or outright replacement


So we are signing Crouch to address the height issue in midfield then?


Patino take this chance pls and make us all proud. Bellerin was his age when he started games due to Debuchy’s injury. Patino is just one or two injuries away from becoming a starter.


Out of curiosity, who would you like to see injured… So Patino gets his chances?


Odegaard and ESR at the same time obviously


Coutinho off to Aston Villa. Its a long way down. Glad we did not get involved.

Bai Blagoi

I don’t believe that anyone would want to play for J*se.

Brady’s bunch

The fact they’re letting him go when we’re so light at the min speaks volumes


I don’t have a problem with AMN going out on loan – good for him. I do have a problem with how we have planned to provide cover/support for our midfield, given that we knew in advance that both Partey & Elneny wouldn’t be available for most if not all of this month, and that, given his lack of game time, AMN would probably want to be off too. Ideally, we would have already signed some additional cover/support for our midfield, and simply just need to announce the player/players in question. I suspect, however, that it’s not going to work… Read more »


Much like the Martinez move…fight like hell to keep good growing players. When those good young players find themselves on the cusp of starting but cannot break through, respect them for their ongoing professionalism and commitment by treating them fairly if they need to leave to enhance their career. In the long run it will pay off via team atmosphere, recruiting young talent, and developing team depth.

Teryima Adi

Arteta is a good man.

Man Manny

He’s got the Arsenal DNA.


Playing under Mourinho 15 years ago may have been an exciting oppportunity. How can any player now think that’s the case? His decline over the last five or so years has been drastic. Football has left him behind. He is a washed up manager if ever there was one. If I were AMN I’d be taking my chances with Arteta and the new look Arsenal.


Good decision all round

But of course, with five games in fourteen days until the end of AFCON, isn’t there a potential that we’ll have to play Xhaka and Lokonga for all five games?

This really gives me the jitters. So little margin for error.

Am I missing something?

Do we hope to play someone who’s played midfield before, like Callum Chambers?

Play one youth player for the FA Cup tie against Nottingham?

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