Saturday, October 1, 2022

Confirmed: Maitland-Niles joins Southampton on loan

Arsenal have confirmed that Ainsley Maitland-Niles will spend the 2022/23 season on loan with Southampton.

The England international moves to Saint Mary’s in search of more football after a disjointed couple of years at the Emirates that has included stints with West Bromwich Albion and AS Roma.

Before heading off, Maitland-Niles’ contract has reportedly been extended by a year to protect his value. Should he impress Ralph Hasenhüttl, the Saints will have an option to buy the 24-year-old.

Arsene Wenger handed Maitland-Niles his senior debut for the Gunners as a 17-year-old back in 2014 but had to wait three years to properly establish himself during the Frenchman’s final season in charge.

While he didn’t have a specialist position, his versatility was seen as a boon and the club awarded him a new contract in 2018. Despite an early season leg break, he played 30 times in Unai Emery’s first season, predominantly as cover for the injured Hector Bellerin.

Under Mikel Arteta he developed as a left wing-back and played a starring role as the Gunners secured the FA Cup at the end of the pandemic hit 2019/20 season. His performances earned him a call-up to the England squad.

That should have been the foundation on which to build himself a solid Arsenal career but it hasn’t panned out that way. Unconvinced about playing in defence, he fell out of favour and then had his head turned by opportunities elsewhere. When moves to Wolves and Everton fell through in consecutive summers, it was clear he wasn’t happy.

Hopefully this time it works out for him.

In total, Ainsley has made 132 appearances for the Gunners making eight assists and scoring three goals.

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John

Not being unkind but Southampton is more ANN’s natural level. Hope he excels there and we get a good fee for him next July.

Onenil

Rebuild return.
Rebuild move on.
It’s up to you now.
Good luck!

ClockEnder

Still think he’s a far better RB than Cedric but that ship sailed a long time ago.
Feels like we’ll be here again next year but hopefully he has a great season for Southampton.

PeteyB

Yup. I think he could have made that spot his own if he wasn’t so precious (apparently… what do I know really?) about playing in midfield… The irony for me is under Arteta he could have spent a lot of time in midfield from a RB/LB starting position!

Santi’s Thigh Grab

Taking for granted non of us actually know anything other than what’s been reported, AMN appears to not have “that” mentality that Arteta looks for in a player. Keep your head down, work hard in training and you may get an opportunity and then it’s up to you to take it. AMN didn’t do that. End of story. Good luck to him.

Scwibble

Good luck hopefully can get his career back on track.

Aside from that, I understand the constraints of the market, but we’ve had a long time to look for midfield options and we didn’t explore bringing in someone on loan. Now we’re relying on villa and one player to save our midfield in a gruelling upcoming fixture schedule with WC in between. It’s a lack of foresight and planning which I thought we left behind us. I genuinely don’t understand how we couldn’t anticipate Partey absence and an Elneny injury/suspension. Ruins what could’ve been a very good window.

Aditya

We were late for Paredes but potentially missing on Gueye(just 2M), Melo or Zakaria on loans might really hurt. Afterall even if they failed to work wonders, we’d have used them in cup/europa and games against bottom half teams. Did we have Soler in our sights as well?

Scwibble

Yeah I don’t know, but it’s not nice missing out on that important cover just to get by and ease pressure off our current guys.

Chopra_gooner

Yup, we could have bought Gueye for a nominal fee.

ClockEnder

“Ruins” is strong. You’ve got to ask whether there was a player good enough (as in, significantly better than Sambi/Elneny) at a price that we could afford (esp. with us reportedly flying close to FFP).
To me it’s actually proof that we’re being well run and don’t end-up trolley-dashing and grabbing players that we’re trying to pay-off to leave in two years time.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

Partey’s prior availability issues was the reason that Elneny’s contract was extended. That was the plan as the club was not confident by just having Sambi as the back up. Partey got injured, at this point to be expected. Elneny getting injured was not expected or anticipated. They did their planning, sometimes unexpected things happen. Now it’s the managers problem to solve.

Merlin’s Panini

I’m not overly concerned the more I think about it. Injuries happen and they recover at different times. Sambi getting some game time is no bad thing and he has a very motivated group around him. Zinchenko, when fit, can also play that role and I’d also consider Ben White a potential option. He’s mobile, has defensive discipline, good passing and has shown, at right back, that he can carry the ball too. Saka also has the game intelligence to play midfield and Odegaard could play the 8 role. Obviously the immediate concern would be a Xhaka or Sambi injury/suspension… Read more »

evaristus

I wish I could like this post 1 million times. Partey , Elneny and lokonga are more than enough for 1 position. Partey getting injured was kind of expected. Elneny’s injury was not (when was he last injured?). I don’t want a Panic buy that would end up be hard to move on after It doesn’t work out.

Oberon

Wait so you want to plan for back up of the back up? Don’t be stupid we’d end up with a massive squad of players who don’t play and can’t afford or just substandard. With that logic we shouldn’t move anyone on and just keep players just in case. Although that’s probably not possible with the number of players you can register.

Scwibble

Everybody here failed to see that I said loan, when you get a play in on loan, you can alleviate the immediate concerns and not end up with the liability, or in some cases be impressed by the player and bring him in like Odegaard. Either way, you sort out the short-term crisis. Nobody here seems to have seen the October schedule, and everyone knows of long-term Elneny’s injury and Partey susceptibility to it, but then everyone assumes that Xhaka and Lokonga are made of concrete and will be fine to fly through games every 3-4 days for a month.… Read more »

Kevin Albone

I don’t think it ruins what has undoubtedly been a very good window but a bit more foresight would have been useful. Still not sure why they haven’t gone for Tillman’s, presumably confident they can pick him up free next summer.

Graham

I think we can do better than Tielemans.
I think we’ll go for one midfielder top help us get over that top four line in january and then go big on a midfielder in the summer. Steal Bellingham from under Liverpools nose maybe?

Santi’s Thigh Grab

Not every player has the intellect or mentality to play in Arteta’s system. Pepe, a talented player, did not have the technical ability to play in a possession pressing team. You have to have a high football IQ with high technical skills, Zinny and Jesus, to play the system. Edu is smarter than to bring in a player Arteta won’t play like Auba, Pepe, AMN because they don’t improve the team. We have a good squad, we are in first place, injuries are part of the game and it’s the managers job to manage these bumps in the road. You… Read more »

bazza_wicks

im guessing being on loan he can’t face us and get man of the match playing in midfield lol

Peter

Love his ice cool penalty 😊

Arsemouth

Fight for a first team place in a good Prem side. That’s what I hope for Ainsley. Also, hope he gets away from whoever is giving him career advice.

Buffalo Head

His mom?

Kris

Think this is a poor decision, his versatility gives us the options to move some of our full backs into central midfield even if we don’t fancy him there. It was sell or keep for me this window and the club need to understand that while harmony is lovely our best interests as a club need to come first and sometimes that means keeping versatile options who don’t necessarily want to be here.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

The manager won’t play him. A loan raises value. Then we sell.

baz00r

With the Elneny injury it probably would have made sense to keep him around. Not sure whether it was locked in before that happened though. Shame.

Ozenal

If he had continued to play left wingback, then he could have developed the Zinchenko role and play midfield as well. It would have been interesting to see where his career would have gone had he kept going on the left wingback role, who could go outside and inside when in possession. Surely that would attract a lot of teams competing in Europe. But I guess Unai burnt him because he already ran Hector into the ground by making him cover the ENTIRE right side of the touch line ON HIS OWN. Then he got injured and then Niles was… Read more »

Moxrex

ANM needs to stop listening to football advice from his mom (unfortunately). I remember in may be Arsene Wenger’s last or second last year. He clearly mentioned about his mom not having a good impression. Like Wenger had a habit of playing youngsters in different positions instead of natural positions to make them learn little tricks that would become handy and more understanding of challenges faced by team mates. ANM’s mother visited the academy and caused a mayhem. I thought he would accept that he is not technically refined to be a midfielder and use his strength tactically and become… Read more »

truj

Still got a thin squad.

Non Negotiable

I see a lot of could of, should of, would of comments surrounding ainsley but lets be realistic, if he was going to be usable as cover in midfield we would have seen more of it by now, and if he doesnt want to play Rb/Lb then we dont need him too anymore, as we have significantly strenghened in these areas. This is actually one of my favourite pieces of business we’ve done recently as it simultaneously maintains his value to us with the extra year, as well as allowing an academy player to progress in his career, so all… Read more »

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