Arsenal legend, Alan Smith, has now admitted that academy graduate, Ainsley Maitland-Niles could leave the club this summer.
Maitland-Niles first broke into the first-team back in the 2014/15 season but didn’t make his mark until two years later when he recorded 28 appearances in one campaign (Wikipedia).
Across the past three seasons, Maitland-Niles has never dipped below that 28 game mark, playing 32 times and scoring one goal in the 2019/20 campaign.
However, recent reports have indicated that the youngster may be leaving Arsenal this summer, with a £30m potential fee mentioned (Sun).
Among the potential suitors, Tottenham have surprisingly been named as a club who may be interested in the rival player (Daily Mirror).
Alan Smith believes that Arsenal boss Arteta sees Maitland-Niles as a possible right-back option, while the player himself wants to star further forward.
Smith told Sky Sports: “It sounds as if Ainsley Maitland-Niles might be leaving the club.
“I know a lot of supporters would think that a shame, having just seen the home-grown product play very well in the FA Cup final.
“A stumbling block here, perhaps, is agreeing on his role. Arteta, I think, feels Maitland-Niles could make it as a right-back, whereas the player himself is far from convinced.
“It is always disappointing seeing local lads leave, but a decent transfer fee would give Arteta some added wriggle room in the market.”
Spurs Web Opinion:
Even if I did believe that Maitland-Niles would want to join Tottenham, I believe that the Lilywhites would have the same issues. They are attempting to bolster the right-back position, so if Maitland-Niles is not happy with his Arsenal tole, I doubt it would be any different at Spurs.
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