It’s clear that Arsenal will need to sell some players if they want to finance new signings this summer, but it’s important not to get drawn into a short term approach of selling your best youngsters.
One of the biggest problems for Ainsley Maitland-Niles is that he’s been too versatile and he’s struggled to hold down a regular role, so it’s understandable that some speculation has arisen over his future.
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He has the skill and awareness to be a good attacking full back in the future, but Hector Bellerin will always start in that role when he’s fit.
It now sounds like Maitland-Niles won’t leave after all and it’s actually the Spaniard who will move on, so that would give the youngster a key role in the team next season:
This would likely see Maitland-Niles stay & be 1st choice RWB, Soares back-up. Arsenal interest in Partey remains + discussions taking place over Aouar. Ceballos returning to London in coming days – hearing #RMFC will waive loan fee in exchange for #AFC paying full wage this time https://t.co/83xYC4KzFF
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) September 1, 2020
A lot of fans would be gutted to see Bellerin go because he’s a great player who’s been a vital part of the team, but he’s always injured and he can’t be relied upon.
If Arteta does need to sell players then it makes sense to stick with the young versatile player over the injury prone first teamer as Maitland-Niles also has the potential to get better, and Cedric is a capable back up.
The risk with doing things the other way round would see Maitland-Niles become a star somewhere else while Bellerin continues to struggle with injuries, so this does look like the correct decision from the club.