Southampton Join the Race for Arsenal Midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles

Southampton Ainsley Maitland-Niles

Southampton are the latest club to join the race for Arsenal midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles, according to David Ornstein of The Athletic.

Arsenal Midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles Attracting Interest From Southampton

Available for Loan Move

The 23-year-old is reportedly available to leave Arsenal on loan. Maitland-Niles is looking for more game time in order for a chance to make the England squad for Euro 2020 and he is unlikely to get that at Arsenal.

Maitland-Niles has been used in spells so far during Mikel Arteta’s tenure at The Emirates Stadium. He featured in 32 games for the Gunners last season, and the majority of those came under Arteta.

While he has played 21 times this season for the Gunners, only 13 of those have been starts. Many of those have also come in the Europa League, where Arsenal were placed in a favourable group alongside Dundalk, Rapied Vienna and Molde.

As a result, the 23-year-old is looking to head out on loan during the second half of the season. It was reported on January 28 that Maitland-Niles is attracting interest from West Bromwich Albion; however, Arsenal favour the interest from Southampton and would prefer him to move to St Mary’s.

Versatility Could Help Southampton

Maitland-Niles has been used in several positions under Mikel Arteta at Arsenal. Predominantly a central midfielder, the 23-year-old has also been used at full-back.

This could proved beneficial to Ralph Hasenhüttl, who is looking to add a full-back to his squad this window. The Saints are currently without first-choice right-back Kyle Walker-Peters, who missed their last game against Arsenal and looks set to miss their clash against Aston Villa.

Speaking ahead of the visit of Villa, the Austrian said: “Kyle still needs a little bit of time. I don’t know how long, but he will not be available for this game on the weekend, and therefore we have to find another solution for the right side.”

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