It comes as little surprise to see the Arsenal man move on – if only on loan – when considering the little game time he has had. Just past the halfway mark in the Premier League, Maitland-Niles has featured just 11 times in all competitions. At Roma, he will hope to get regular minutes and perhaps even impress Jose Mourinho enough for a permanent move.
AS Roma Agree Deal to Sign Ainsley Maitland-Niles on Loan
Too Much Competition at Arsenal
Ainsley Maitland-Niles could have previously been excused for becoming frustrated at a lack of game time at Arsenal. After the arrivals of Takehiro Tomiyasu and Nuno Tavares, combined with the improvement of others elsewhere, however, Maitland-Niles was simply crowded out. His versatility could have become a key asset, but Mikel Arteta has built a consistent squad – resulting in little change and little opportunity for the Hale End graduate.
At Roma, competition is not so packed. The midfielder will be joining a side sat sixth in the Seria A, and in need of a boost in their pursuit of Champions League football. Maitland-Niles, at his very best, can provide that boost.
In an attacking sense, particular, the Arsenal man can provide a helping hand. Roma have scored just 31 goals in 19 games in the Serie A this season – less than five of the top six. Maitland-Niles may just make all the difference for Mourinho, especially if he can strike a promising partnership with fellow Englishman Tammy Abraham, who has enjoyed life in Rome thus far.
We may finally get to see Maitland-Niles at his very best in Italy.
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