With this summer’s transfer window now just hours away from closing, clubs will be busy putting the finishing touches on their recruitment plans. However, one player who looks unlikely to seal a late move away is Arsenal midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
Maitland-Niles, 24, has struggled for game time under Mikel Arteta in recent times.
Having started 19 Premier League matches last season, the versatile young Englishman has failed to make a single appearance so far this season.
With the Gunners’ plight on full display following three consecutive domestic defeats, the last 24 hours have seen Maitland-Niles come out publicly on social media and request a transfer away.
Rumoured to be wanted by Premier League rivals Everton, a late move has so far failed to materialise with Arsenal reportedly ‘blocking’ a potential transfer and instead opting to demote the midfielder to the under-23 squad, as per the Mirror.
After his move to Everton was blocked, Ainsley Maitland-Niles has been told he won’t be training with the Arsenal first team. More @MirrorFootball
— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) August 31, 2021
Speaking recently to Football Insider about Maitland-Niles’ desperation to secure a late transfer, former Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor has slammed the Gunners’ treatment of the 24-year-old.
“This is what I hate about football that people don’t see,” Agbonlahor said. “When clubs don’t need you, they treat you badly. Look at how badly they’re treating him.
“He wants to leave, they’re not playing him and they’re not letting him leave.
“When a player isn’t playing well they will put pressure on them to leave.
“I feel sorry for Maitland-Niles, he will get what he deserves. Hopefully, he gets his move. He just needs to keep his head.
“It must take a lot to come out on Instagram and do what he did.
“The poor lad, he’s 24 and just wants to play football. I don’t blame him. He’s probably fed up.
“That doesn’t surprise me that they’re making him train with the Under-23s, that’s how clubs treat players.”