Arsenal legend Sol Campbell has expressed his sympathy with Ainsley Maitland-Niles after he saw a move away from the Emirates Stadium blocked.
The 23-year-old has long looked like a fine young talent, but has struggled for playing time recently and could perhaps have benefited from going out on loan or maybe even leaving Arsenal permanently.
There was talk of Maitland-Niles possibly leaving on deadline day, with John Cross of the Daily Mirror tweeting yesterday that the England international had a move to Everton blocked…
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
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Former Arsenal defender Campbell has now discussed the situation with talkSPORT, admitting it was a tricky one for all the parties involved.
While Campbell understands that Arsenal need to think about their squad depth, he recognises that a move to Everton could have been ideal from Maitland-Niles’ perspective…
? “When you’re young & desperate to play, I get that feeling. You want to play week in, week out. #AFC just want the squad!”
? “He’s going to feel disheartened, he doesn’t want to be on the sidelines.”
Sol Campbell understands Maitland-Niles being frustrated with Arsenal. ? pic.twitter.com/RRKyTbzyaF
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) September 1, 2021
Arsenal haven’t come out of this looking that great, but fans will now hope Maitland-Niles can put this saga behind him and win his place back.
With Hector Bellerin leaving, there’s surely now more of an opportunity for Maitland-Niles to get games at right-back.